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Cute and Functional! 10 Unique Stationery Items From Japan


Written by Kat


From high-quality and exquisite to cute and kitsch! Whether you’re looking for top-quality paper, manga pens, or charming and fun items, Japan offers a wide range of unique stationery that cannot be found anywhere else. We introduce ten of our favorite Japanese stationery items.

Japan is famed for its unique, innovative, and high-quality stationery items, which literally come in all shapes and sizes!

Below we’d like to introduce a list of 10 great products that have caught our attention. From quirky or traditional items for everyday use to manga illustration essentials, this list has something for everyone!

Cute, Kitsch and Fun!!

Cute and Functional! 10 Unique Stationery Items From Japan

Japan reigns supreme when it comes to cute and kitsch, and there’s no shortage of colorful, fun, and adorable products on offer!

Cute stationery in particular is hugely popular, and the range is endless! Below we introduce five fun stationery items you may not see in your local stores.

1. Iwako Sushi Erasers

Cute and Functional! 10 Unique Stationery Items From Japan

Japan has a long tradition of producing high-quality, hyper-realistic food replicas, some of which are difficult to distinguish from the real thing! From restaurant displays to cute key chains, these replicas are everywhere in Japan and are hugely popular as novelty gifts.

Iwako is famous for its novelty erasers, many of which are made to look like realistic food items. Their sushi-themed erasers are particularly fun and charming, and something you’re not likely to find outside of Japan!

Sets are even sold on a wooden serving tray, adding to the realism, and making the product even more humorous and unique.

2. SilverCoral Fruit Notepads

8 Unique and Useful Stationary Items from Japan

Affordable and useful, notepads make for excellent gifts, and Japan offers no shortage of cute designs! SilverCoral’s fruit-themed notepads are yet another item that’s sure to make you smile.

These adorable fruit-shaped notepads are even packaged in foam fruit nets, just like at the grocery store!

Each page is designed to look like the inside of the fruit, and the apple notepads come complete with little stalks on top. These cute and hilarious design details make the pads a truly unique item to have in your stationery collection.

3. YUBX Masking Tape

Cute and Functional! 10 Unique Stationery Items From Japan

Masking tape made from Japanese washi paper is often beautifully decorated, highly durable, recyclable, and easy to use. The tape can generally be torn by hand, so no scissors are necessary, making it a great option for kids. It’s great for gift wrapping, decorating the borders of letters and journals, and for various other craft projects.

We think YUBX’s beautiful, ocean-themed tape is particularly cute! Decorated with sea creatures such as starfish, jellyfish, and sharks, and featuring elegant silver embossing, the tape offers a fun, easy, and affordable way to brighten up your gift wrapping and craft projects.

4. Sakamoto Sword Scissors

Cute and Functional! 10 Unique Stationery Items From Japan

Sakamoto is a well-known Japanese stationery company famous for it’s great quality novelty items such as snack-themed stationery (often created in collaboration with actual food companies), and highly detailed themed products.

This fun katana-shaped novelty scissors is inspired by the Sengoku-era samurai warrior Sanada Yukimura, and looks like an actual sheathed sword! Cutting paper need never be boring again!

5. Takoyaki Scented 2-Color Marker

Cute and Functional! 10 Unique Stationery Items From Japan

This entry is perhaps one of the more bizarre on our list, but we couldn’t resist adding it!

One of Japan’s most popular street foods is Osaka’s famed takoyaki, or octopus dumplings. Coated with generous amounts of sauce and mayonnaise, this is a soul food not to be missed for anyone traveling in Osaka!

Another Sakamoto product, this takoyaki-themed double-sided marker features a cute, nostalgic design reminiscent of Japanese food labels and advertising.

However the truly unique point about this product is the smell - the black marker is scented like takoyaki sauce, and the yellow marker like mayonnaise!! If you’re looking for a fun gift for that person who has everything, we can almost guarantee they don’t have this!

Items for Traditional Crafts

8 Unique and Useful Stationery Items from Japan

Japan has a rich history with traditional crafts, and many Japanese crafts are world-renowned for their exquisite beauty and delicacy. We would like to bring two special traditional craft stationery items to your attention.

1. Toyo Origami Washi Paper

Cute and Functional! 10 Unique Stationery Items From Japan

Japan’s high quality washi (traditional paper) is utilized in many traditional items, including screens, lamps and, of course, in origami crafts.

Toyo offers beautiful, high-quality, and affordable paper that’s made specifically for origami. This set includes 120 pieces, with 30 different designs. The stunning traditional prints make this paper perfect for all your origami projects. We just can’t stop looking at this exquisite paper!

2. Adult Calligraphy Set

Cute and Functional! 10 Unique Stationery Items From Japan

Shodo, or the art of Japanese calligraphy, is a popular art form that produces beautiful, stylized Japanese characters. Shodo requires specific tools such as specialized brushes, and these can be difficult to get outside of Japan. Also, because it’s a popular subject in school, many calligraphy sets are aimed toward young children.

This high-quality 7-piece set has all the basic tools required for adult beginners, as well as those wanting to get back into the hobby. And though it's the most expensive item on our list, the cost is actually very reasonable when compared to other adult-oriented Japanese calligraphy sets available.

Items for Artists, Illustrators, and Budding Manga Creators

Cute and Functional! 10 Unique Stationery Items From Japan

Many of the world’s most famous artists, animators, and illustrators hail from Japan, and the nation has a long tradition of producing incredible and distinctive art and illustration.

It will likely come as no surprise that a wide range of high-quality art materials are produced by Japanese stationery companies. Below we list three fantastic items for artists and illustrators.

1. Copic Markers Multiliner Fine Pigment Based Ink, 4-Piece Set

10 Unique and Useful Stationary Items from Japan

Copic is a renowned producer of quality graphic markers in Japan, and their products are used by many professional manga artists and illustrators worldwide. They offer a wide variety of pens, all of which are professional quality but can sometimes come with quite a high price tag as a result.

Copic’s 4-piece multiliner set is a fantastic and affordable starter option for newer illustrators unsure of which pens to start out with, as well as for pros. The set includes four high-quality multiliner pens of varying thicknesses, and are perfect for detailed illustrations.

For those wishing to dip their toes into the world of manga and comic book illustration, the multiliner set offers a fantastic and affordable gateway into this.

2. Deleter Comic Book Paper

8 Unique and Useful Stationary Items from Japan

Many companies in Japan offer “manga manuscript paper”: paper that is specifically designed for comic book illustrators. This paper is of a high-quality, and margins and borders are often preprinted in order to make it easier to draft layouts to professional standards.

Deleter offers excellent comic book paper at a reasonable cost, complete with preprinted margins. It's a great option for those looking for a top-quality medium for drawing their comics.

3. Kuretake 36-Color Watercolor Paint Set

8 Unique and Useful Stationary Items from Japan

Watercolors are an essential medium for many artists, and Japan's watercolor paints in particular are famed for their quality and the ethereal look they create.

Kuretake is one of Japan’s best-known stationery companies and is particularly famous for its excellent watercolors. The paints are loved by many artists due to their incredible quality, the wide range of colors they offer (including metallics!) and how easy they are to use.

Their 36-color set is among their most popular, and there are few others that can compare in terms of color range and quality.

Stock up on Stationery With Products From Japan!

No matter your needs, tastes or hobbies, there’s no shortage of unique stationery products available from Japan-based companies!

We hope that one of the items on our list was of interest. And we hope that our article helped open up the exciting world of Japanese stationery to you a little more!

All pictures courtesy of Amazon

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.