25 July 2010


I wanted to talk about a stationery article that I have only seen in Japan. It is called ippitsu (一筆). Literally, it means “one brush”. A better translation, however, would be "few words". The second ideogram, 筆, by the way, is also used in the Japanese word for fountain pen: mannenhitsu (万年筆), ten thousand year brush.

Several ippitsu-sen (ippitsu notebooks) with different motifs.

These are small pieces of paper for short notes to mail—invitations, thank you notes, acknowledgments of reception… all those are often written on ippitsu.

Ippitsu with drawings inspired by the Kobe Jazz Festival.

Nothing strange or unusual, we could say. In fact, reduced format papers are used here and there in the West. But what is not so usual is the inclusion of clear decorative elements on them. And that is the feature that makes ippitsu unique.

On the left, a reproduction of a ukiyo-e engraving in an ippitsu bought at the Japan Ukiyo-e Museum, in Matsumoto (Nagano). On the right, an engraving by Jean Cocteau honoring Paul Klee.

I am always willing to send one of them on the mail, the old snail mail. Their paper is, more often than not, very good and it becomes a pleasure to write with a fountain pen on them. Now, I only need to find the right excuse.

(Sailor Pocket Pen WG – Sailor 100717031)

Bruno Taut
(Inagi, July 24 2010)
[labels: Japón, papelería]


anele said...

¡¡¡¡Yo, yo,yoooooooooooo!!! yo soy la excusa perfecta.
¿quién mejor que una amiga a quien enviarle una bonita nota? escribe lo que quieras, que me da igual, pero envíame una yaaaaaaaa!!! ja, ja. No te quedes con las ganas.Y si quieres, otra a Kendo-san, que así tendré dos, ji, ji.

No me hables de "stationery" japones que me dan sudores sólo de pensar en las cosas que ví allí. Me hubiera traído un camión llenito.

Julie (Okami) said...

These are very cool. Thanks you for sharing.

Sola said...

I have a couple of these but never knew their proper names. Thank you for this post!

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