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The Best Places to Get Japanese Stationery Outside of Japan — jaci.moe

Whenever I post something from my Hobonichi, I sometimes get questions about where I obtain such cute stationery. The truth is, I get most of it in Japan but that’s not a helpful answer for most people. But don’t worry, there’s also a lot of stationery I buy online that you can get from anywhere in the world! Here are a few of my online and in-store picks for how to get all the Japanese stationery your heart desires, without ever having to set foot in Japan.


We are lucky to live in an era where just about anything you want can be purchased online with various means. You can even use proxies to buy from actual Japanese online markets that don’t normally ship overseas, which opens up infinite possibilities for shopping! Here are a few online markets where I’ve had the most success in obtaining high-quality Japanese stationery.

There are so many Japanese sellers on Etsy selling stationery and you can find just about anything you’re looking for: memo sheets, stickers, stamps, journals, pens… I could list forever, but if you can dream it it’s likely Etsy has it. I find that for the most part Japanese sellers are very honest with their prices and don’t drive up the profit margin to an extreme. There are often times I find sticker packs or washi tapes for only about $1 more than what they retail for in Japan! Here are some shops I have personally ordered from that I had a good experience with, but there are countless others. Just start searching!

From Japan With Love (Japanese stickers and stamps)
Japan Korea Hong Kong (stationery from various parts of East Asia)
Sweet Supplies Store (tons of various stationery from Japan)
Cute Things From Japan was another Etsy store I really enjoyed that now has its own website! I’ve made countless orders from this shop, and highly recommend it as well.

eBay requires a bit more hunting than Etsy, but it’s still a good option. Beware that a lot of options for cheap washi tape and stickers come from China, where the quality is less than ideal. I made the mistake when I first started journaling of buying a bunch of cheap $1 washi from Chinese eBay sellers, only to have them arrive and they hardly even stick to the paper, making them useless. There is a huge difference in quality between these cheap tapes and proper Japanese tapes, so try to find items that come from Japan! You can use your search term + “Japan” or “Japanese” to help narrow down results.

Mercari is a flea market website and app that originates from Japan and is incredibly popular there. Because of this, there are a decent amount of Japanese sellers on the USA version of the app who use it to unload their personal stationery stashes. You have to get a bit creative with search terms sometimes, but it’s worth the hunt to find USA sellers that have extra stationery laying around.

Subscription Boxes
Not sure what you want? Subscription boxes are a great way to dive in and dabble. Curated by people living in Japan, you get the personal touch of someone only picking products they really enjoy themselves. ZenPop is my favorite, I used to order their boxes month after month and was never disappointed. I only stopped because I started accumulating more stationery than I could use, but I keep an eye on their monthly packs and buy them one-off if I see one that really appeals to me. Other subscription box options include Sticky Kit and Neko Box’s Zakka Kit which both ship straight from Japan.

Did you know there’s a USA store for popular Japanese brand Muji? You can get all of the popular stationery that the simplistic brand carries right on their store, along with a bunch of other clothing and home goods that emphasize the importance of simplicity.

Jet Pens
Jet Pens doesn’t only carry just pens, but a wide arrange of notebooks, washi tapes, pencil cases, and more! Best of all, free shipping over $25, so you can shop guilt-free and get a great haul for a good price!

Online Japanese Shops
This is undoubtedly the best and cheapest way to buy Japanese stationery if you want to buy a lot, but is also a bit more involved than just buying from any of the shops above. You can buy directly from Japanese stationery shops like LoFT and Tokyu Hands to get items for what they retail for in Japan. The process to do this would be paying a proxy (like FromJapan) to order the items for you and then ship them from their warehouse to you. To me, this is worth the hassle because there is so much more on these websites than what you’ll find on any of the websites above, and once you have the ability to proxy, you can buy from all sorts of various Japanese websites with confidence!


While shopping online is great, there is a simple pleasure in going to a store and picking out something for yourself. Depending on where you live, this can be difficult or a piece of cake. It’s worth looking up your location to see what kind of stationery shops are around. It’s fairly common for most to carry washi tape and stickers (even if they may not be Japanese imports), and even chains like Michaels and JoAnn have items to get started with if you really can’t find anything else.

If you’re in New York City, view my NYC-specific post here!

Kinokuniya / Maido
If you are lucky enough to have a Kinokuniya or especially a Maido near you, count your blessings. Kinokuniya alone carries a bunch of Japanese stationery like washi tapes, memo pads, pens, and fancy tools – but Maido is a store solely dedicated to Japanese stationery. However, as one might expect, these stores are pretty expensive and the markup can often be well over double.

Daiso is a Japanese shop that acts on the dollar store model where most items are under $1.50 (¥100 in Japan). They have loads of adorable stationery for cheap, mostly paper goods with adorable characters on them!

Paper Source
Paper Source has a great assortment of washi tapes, including popular Japanese brand MT. I haven’t had much luck with anything other than tapes and various journals, but it’s worth a browse.

Mitsukoshi at Epcot
This one only applies if you’re going to Disneyworld in Florida, but the shop inside Japan’s part of Epcot is fantastic for stationery! The prices are surprisingly reasonable (considering it’s Disneyworld), so don’t miss it if you’re planning a trip there!

I hope this little stationery guide was helpful to you and helps ramp up your stationery collection to the next level! If you have any suggestions to add to this guide, please let me know in the comments!

The Best Japanese Stationery Subscription Box – Direct from the source!

The Best Japanese Stationery Subscription Box – Direct from the source! – ZenPop

Available Now Only the best for your New Year Celebrations 🎀✍️

January 2022 Current Pack


What are your traditions for Christmas and the New Year? Japan has many, starting with the fukubukuro (福袋, small lucky bag) gifting for the New Years. To give your celebrations a Japanese flair, we’ve prepared the perfect stationery box, including Japan-made paper and a beautiful calligraphy pen. Only available in your New Year Celebration box:

  • Nenga Pochi Fukuro Set  from Active Cooperation
  • Shibata san no Kurutto Memo from Active Cooperation
  • Akashiya Koto Fudepen from AKASHIYA
  • Yuzen Washi Tape from World Craft
  • PLUS more cute and useful stationery items!

A variety of beautiful and useful stationery products are included in your ZenPop Japanese Stationery subscription box.

*The photos are for illustrative purposes only. Actual products may vary.

Japanese Stationery


A selection of cute Japanese items in every pack.

Pens and Pencils – You’ll always find new writing utensils in your pack, from sparkly highlighters to cutting edge mechanical pencils or brush pens.

Washi Tape – Washi means “Japanese Paper” and these lightweight decorative tapes made from washi can be used for crafting, decorating and much more.

Cute Stickers – Kawaii stickers featuring famous characters, or new designs that will surprise you. Useful for your planner or studies.

Paper Products – You’ll find cute memo pads, sticky notes, small notebooks, and even adorable letter sets in these packs.

Accessories – Cute erasers, shitajiki, correction tape, and many more new and novel items from Japan will be discovered.

Fun Themes – Each month features a new fun theme to enjoy! From traditional Japan, to cute puppies, it’s always a surprise.


See what you’ve missed.

Ready to explore our stationeries?

muji japanese stationery

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Japanese Pens and More from JetPens.com

How would you feel if you were sharing a personal story and noticed that the person to whom you were speaking wasn’t really listening? You probably wouldn’t be too thrilled.

Unfortunately, that is the case for many people. Most individuals are not good listeners. They are good pretenders. The thing is, true listening requires work—more work than people are willing to invest. Quality conversation is about “give and take.” Most people, however, want to just give—their words, that is. Being on the receiving end as the listener may seem boring, but it’s essential.

When you are attending to someone and paying attention to what they’re saying, it’s a sign of caring and respect. The hitch is that attending requires an act of will, which sometimes goes against what our minds naturally do—roaming around aimlessly and thinking about whatnot, instead of listening—the greatest act of thoughtfulness.

Without active listening, people often feel unheard and unacknowledged. That’s why it’s important for everyone to learn how to be a better listener.

What Makes People Poor Listeners?

Good listening skills can be learned, but first, let’s take a look at some of the things that you might be doing that makes you a poor listener.

1. You Want to Talk to Yourself

Well, who doesn’t? We all have something to say, right? But when you are looking at someone pretending to be listening while, all along, they’re mentally planning all the amazing things they’re going to say, it is a disservice to the speaker.

Yes, maybe what the other person is saying is not the most exciting thing in the world. Still, they deserve to be heard. You always have the ability to steer the conversation in another direction by asking questions.

It’s okay to want to talk. It’s normal, even. Keep in mind, however, that when your turn does come around, you’ll want someone to listen to you.

2. You Disagree With What Is Being Said

This is another thing that makes you an inadequate listener—hearing something with which you disagree with and immediately tuning out. Then, you lie in wait so you can tell the speaker how wrong they are. You’re eager to make your point and prove the speaker wrong. You think that once you speak your “truth,” others will know how mistaken the speaker is, thank you for setting them straight, and encourage you to elaborate on what you have to say. Dream on.

Disagreeing with your speaker, however frustrating that might be, is no reason to tune them out and ready yourself to spew your staggering rebuttal. By listening, you might actually glean an interesting nugget of information that you were previously unaware of.

3. You Are Doing Five Other Things While You’re “Listening”

It is impossible to listen to someone while you’re texting, reading, playing Sudoku, etc. But people do it all the time—I know I have.

I’ve actually tried to balance my checkbook while pretending to listen to the person on the other line. It didn’t work. I had to keep asking, “what did you say?” I can only admit this now because I rarely do it anymore. With work, I’ve succeeded in becoming a better listener. It takes a great deal of concentration, but it’s certainly worth it.

If you’re truly going to listen, then you must: listen! M. Scott Peck, M.D., in his book The Road Less Travel, says, “you cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time. ” If you are too busy to actually listen, let the speaker know, and arrange for another time to talk. It’s simple as that!

4. You Appoint Yourself as Judge

While you’re “listening,” you decide that the speaker doesn’t know what they’re talking about. As the “expert,” you know more. So, what’s the point of even listening?

To you, the only sound you hear once you decide they’re wrong is, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!” But before you bang that gavel, just know you may not have all the necessary information. To do that, you’d have to really listen, wouldn’t you? Also, make sure you don’t judge someone by their accent, the way they sound, or the structure of their sentences.

My dad is nearly 91. His English is sometimes a little broken and hard to understand. People wrongly assume that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about—they’re quite mistaken. My dad is a highly intelligent man who has English as his second language. He knows what he’s saying and understands the language perfectly.

Keep that in mind when listening to a foreigner, or someone who perhaps has a difficult time putting their thoughts into words.

Now, you know some of the things that make for an inferior listener. If none of the items above resonate with you, great! You’re a better listener than most.

How To Be a Better Listener

For conversation’s sake, though, let’s just say that maybe you need some work in the listening department, and after reading this article, you make the decision to improve. What, then, are some of the things you need to do to make that happen? How can you be a better listener?

1. Pay Attention

A good listener is attentive. They’re not looking at their watch, phone, or thinking about their dinner plans. They’re focused and paying attention to what the other person is saying. This is called active listening.

According to Skills You Need, “active listening involves listening with all senses. As well as giving full attention to the speaker, it is important that the ‘active listener’ is also ‘seen’ to be listening—otherwise, the speaker may conclude that what they are talking about is uninteresting to the listener.

As I mentioned, it’s normal for the mind to wander. We’re human, after all. But a good listener will rein those thoughts back in as soon as they notice their attention waning.

I want to note here that you can also “listen” to bodily cues. You can assume that if someone keeps looking at their watch or over their shoulder, their focus isn’t on the conversation. The key is to just pay attention.

2. Use Positive Body Language

You can infer a lot from a person’s body language. Are they interested, bored, or anxious?

A good listener’s body language is open. They lean forward and express curiosity in what is being said. Their facial expression is either smiling, showing concern, conveying empathy, etc. They’re letting the speaker know that they’re being heard.

People say things for a reason—they want some type of feedback. For example, you tell your spouse, “I had a really rough day!” and your husband continues to check his newsfeed while nodding his head. Not a good response.

But what if your husband were to look up with questioning eyes, put his phone down, and say, “Oh, no. What happened?” How would feel, then? The answer is obvious.

According to Alan Gurney,

“An active listener pays full attention to the speaker and ensures they understand the information being delivered. You can’t be distracted by an incoming call or a Facebook status update. You have to be present and in the moment.

Body language is an important tool to ensure you do this. The correct body language makes you a better active listener and therefore more ‘open’ and receptive to what the speaker is saying. At the same time, it indicates that you are listening to them.”

3. Avoid Interrupting the Speaker

I am certain you wouldn’t want to be in the middle of a sentence only to see the other person holding up a finger or their mouth open, ready to step into your unfinished verbiage. It’s rude and causes anxiety. You would, more than likely, feel a need to rush what you’re saying just to finish your sentence.

Interrupting is a sign of disrespect. It is essentially saying, “what I have to say is much more important than what you’re saying.” When you interrupt the speaker, they feel frustrated, hurried, and unimportant.

Interrupting a speaker to agree, disagree, argue, etc., causes the speaker to lose track of what they are saying. It’s extremely frustrating. Whatever you have to say can wait until the other person is done.

Be polite and wait your turn!

4. Ask Questions

Asking questions is one of the best ways to show you’re interested. If someone is telling you about their ski trip to Mammoth, don’t respond with, “that’s nice.” That would show a lack of interest and disrespect. Instead, you can ask, “how long have you been skiing?” “Did you find it difficult to learn?” “What was your favorite part of the trip?” etc. The person will think highly of you and consider you a great conversationalist just by you asking a few questions.

5. Just Listen

This may seem counterintuitive. When you’re conversing with someone, it’s usually back and forth. On occasion, all that is required of you is to listen, smile, or nod your head, and your speaker will feel like they’re really being heard and understood.

I once sat with a client for 45 minutes without saying a word. She came into my office in distress. I had her sit down, and then she started crying softly. I sat with her—that’s all I did. At the end of the session, she stood, told me she felt much better, and then left.

I have to admit that 45 minutes without saying a word was tough. But she didn’t need me to say anything. She needed a safe space in which she could emote without interruption, judgment, or me trying to “fix” something.

6. Remember and Follow Up

Part of being a great listener is remembering what the speaker has said to you, then following up with them.

For example, in a recent conversation you had with your co-worker Jacob, he told you that his wife had gotten a promotion and that they were contemplating moving to New York. The next time you run into Jacob, you may want to say, “Hey, Jacob! Whatever happened with your wife’s promotion?” At this point, Jacob will know you really heard what he said and that you’re interested to see how things turned out. What a gift!

According to new research, “people who ask questions, particularly follow-up questions, may become better managers, land better jobs, and even win second dates.”

It’s so simple to show you care. Just remember a few facts and follow up on them. If you do this regularly, you will make more friends.

7. Keep Confidential Information Confidential

If you really want to be a better listener, listen with care. If what you’re hearing is confidential, keep it that way, no matter how tempting it might be to tell someone else, especially if you have friends in common. Being a good listener means being trustworthy and sensitive with shared information.

Whatever is told to you in confidence is not to be revealed. Assure your speaker that their information is safe with you. They will feel relieved that they have someone with whom they can share their burden without fear of it getting out.

Keeping someone’s confidence helps to deepen your relationship. Also, “one of the most important elements of confidentiality is that it helps to build and develop trust. It potentially allows for the free flow of information between the client and worker and acknowledges that a client’s personal life and all the issues and problems that they have belong to them.”

Be like a therapist: listen and withhold judgment.

NOTE: I must add here that while therapists keep everything in a session confidential, there are exceptions:

  1. If the client may be an immediate danger to himself or others.
  2. If the client is endangering a population that cannot protect itself, such as in the case of a child or elder abuse.

8. Maintain Eye Contact

When someone is talking, they are usually saying something they consider meaningful. They don’t want their listener reading a text, looking at their fingernails, or bending down to pet a pooch on the street. A speaker wants all eyes on them. It lets them know that what they’re saying has value.

Eye contact is very powerful. It can relay many things without anything being said. Currently, it’s more important than ever with the Covid-19 Pandemic. People can’t see your whole face, but they can definitely read your eyes.

By eye contact, I don’t mean a hard, creepy stare—just a gaze in the speaker’s direction will do. Make it a point the next time you’re in a conversation to maintain eye contact with your speaker. Avoid the temptation to look anywhere but at their face. I know it’s not easy, especially if you’re not interested in what they’re talking about. But as I said, you can redirect the conversation in a different direction or just let the person know you’ve got to get going.

Final Thoughts

Listening attentively will add to your connection with anyone in your life. Now, more than ever, when people are so disconnected due to smartphones and social media, listening skills are critical.

You can build better, more honest, and deeper relationships by simply being there, paying attention, and asking questions that make the speaker feel like what they have to say matters.

And isn’t that a great goal? To make people feel as if they matter? So, go out and start honing those listening skills. You’ve got two great ears. Now use them!

More Tips on How to Be a Better Listener

Featured photo credit: Joshua Rodriguez via unsplash.com

The 10 Best Stationery Stores in Tokyo

For anyone who appreciates feather-light stationery, beautiful notebooks and cards, and pens you’d hate to lose, Japan is as good as its gets. The only real issue is choosing where to go to stock up—which is why we’ve narrowed it down for you. Check out the 10 best stationery stores in Tokyo, whether you want to try your hand at origami or simply look chic at the office.


It may be a little off the main Tokyo drag, but the delightful Kakimori store is well worth the subway ride to Kuramae, an up-and-coming neighborhood currently being transformed by an influx of young artisans. The shelves are packed with hard-to-resist greeting cards and letter sets, but the store’s main attraction is its create-your-own-notebook service. After shoppers choose from dozens of cover and paper-stock options (the choices include the Tomoe River paper popular with fountain pen aficionados) and select their preferred ring color and closure method, it takes just 10 to 15 minutes for Kakimori staffers to create the journals. (When the store is busy and the wait is longer, they hand out coupons providing a small discount at a local café.) The custom experience continues next door, at the Kakimori Ink Stand, where shoppers can combine the store’s inks to create their own colors.


Bingoya, which specializes in mingei (Japanese folk art), is a great source of gifts. Using techniques developed over hundreds of years, artisans in the town of Yatsuo produce handmade paper from the kozo plant and decorate it with traditional motifs. This colorful washi paper is available in sheets—which many people will find too beautiful to use—and on notebook covers, boxes, and business-card holders. Bingoya also sells indigo-dyed fabrics, ceramics, kokeshi dolls, and lacquer ware. (Check out its Instagram for more.)


Kyukyodo is the kind of old-fashioned establishment where you shouldn’t be surprised to see kimono-clad women shopping for exquisite washi papers alongside tourists on the hunt for souvenirs. Established in 1663, Kyukyodo is famous for incense—some of which is eye-wateringly expensive—and calligraphy supplies, but the ground floor contains washi-covered wallets, pen cases, coasters, trays, notebooks, memo pads, and all manner of items that will be appreciated by fancy ladies and gents the world over.


For a nation that is justly renowned for elegant, functional stationery products, Japan’s postcard game is surprisingly weak: Most of the cards available for sale are expensive and decorated with clichéd images. Fortunately, Bumpodo, a well-stocked art supply store located in Jimbocho—Tokyo’s still thriving used-bookstore district—offers a fantastic range of unusual cards, many of which are cheaper than the touristy views of Mount Fuji.

The colorful assortment at Gekkoso.

Courtesy Gekkoso


The slightly messy appearance of the small Gekkoso store, located in the swank Ginza shopping district, establishes its artistic bona fides. Founded in 1917, Gekkoso stocks a limited range of store-brand products beloved by Japanese painters. If you don’t have a use for their watercolor, gouache, or oil paints; their brushes made from pig, badger, weasel, or horse hair; or their brightly colored signature sketchbooks (at the Chihiro Art Museum, a photograph shows revered Japanese children’s artist Chihiro Iwasaki using one), you might be tempted by one of the six styles of canvas bags that bear the store’s post horn logo. Downstairs, the walls of the basement café and gallery space are covered in art submitted by satisfied Gekkoso customers.


At Bungougu Café (Stationery Café) in the ritzy Omotesando neighborhood, you can simultaneously sate your craving for a plate of spaghetti and a glass of wine and satisfy your urge to craft, draw, or journal. On weekends, when would-be diners might have to wait up to an hour for a table, be sure to put your name on the list before you peruse the well-curated selection of items for sale. For 7,000 yen ($62), you can become a member and gain access to drawers filled with specialty stationery items, but even non-members are encouraged to use the café’s communal art supplies or browse the stationery catalogs and magazines.


Known principally as a bookseller, Maruzen is also a fantastic source of stationery. The flagship store opposite Tokyo Station is particularly impressive, with an entire room devoted to diaries and planners; a vast selection of notebooks, cards, and correspondence sets; and file folders that will really make your reports pop. If you’re interested in fountain pens, Maruzen offers a wide range, from some that are cheaper than a cup of Japanese coffee to exquisite maki-e works of art costing as much as one million yen (almost $9,000 USD). Maruzen’s Tokyo Station and Nihonbashi branches both have quiet, well-stocked fountain pen showrooms, where shoppers can test before buying.

Made Here, Buy Here: What You Can’t Leave Tokyo Without

Made Here, Buy Here: What You Can’t Leave Tokyo Without

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In multi-level monuments to creativity in Shinjuku, Shibuya, and a number of smaller locations, Tokyu Hands offers everything: bicycles, soft-sided black briefcases carried by Japanese businessmen, plumbing supplies, cosmetics, the fake food displayed outside restaurants, and, most of all, an awesome range of stationery products. There’s a massive year-round display of diaries and planners, a universe of specialist art supplies, and all the pens, pencils, and sticky notes any human being could ever need.


Sekaido, an all-purpose art supply store with several branches around the city, is low on frills and polish, but it’s Tokyo’s best one-stop source for pencils, pens, paints, and just about everything else that can decorate paper or canvas. Even better, Sekaido’s prices are often the cheapest in town.


After its recent renovation, Itoya’s flagship Ginza store is slick, shiny, and immaculately organized. Shoppers who visit the eight sales floors of the main store known as G Itoya—the building also boasts an “inspiration hall” in the basement and a café on the 12th floor—will take a journey around the world of stationery products, from letter-writing to crafting, business meetings to wedding invitations, desk accouterments to travel necessities. K Itoya, half a block away, features an impressive range of fountain pens and art products.

A Day in Tokyo

A 100-year-old Japanese stationery store lets customers design the perfect, custom notebook — Quartz

Attention paper sophisticates: Ito-Ya, the legendary 111-year old Japanese stationery mecca will make your dreams come true.

Quartz/Anne Quito

On the fourth level of its renovated 12-story emporium in Tokyo’s Ginza shopping district, a counter called “Note Couture” is dedicated to creating the perfect writing pad, on the spot.

For about $9 per 60-page notebook, you can mix-and-match ruled, lined, and blank pages in various hues; debate the spectrum of notebook cover choices; and obsess over the right spiral binding color.

Amid the hundreds of beautiful notebook choices at Ito-Ya, seeing locals queue for a custom book says something about how particular—and playful—Japanese buyers can be when it comes to their writing products.

The Note Couture counter is part of the emporium’s seventh-floor shrine of paper, where thousands of perfectly arranged sheets, envelopes, and cards await designers and paper lovers. Stationery options are so plentiful that a designated paper concierge is on hand to advise customers on selecting the just-right weight, texture, shade, sheen, and thickness.

Quartz/Anne Quito

The paper concierge.

Quartz/Anne Quito

Great wall of paper.

With many good stationery sellers in Tokyo, Ito-Ya is not the only store to offer notebook bespoke services. In Tokyo’s Asakusa district, Kakimori offers even more finishing options with various closures and binding options, ready within 10 minutes.

What drives Tokyo’s anachronistic passion for pen and paper? Kakimori offers this reflection on their website: “In the modern era, technology is quickly replacing old ways of doing things…However we strongly believe that writing is still important to think‚ create ideas‚ and to communicate with other people.”

To their point, a 2014 Princeton University study suggested that taking notes by hand instead of on a computer improved the way students processed information, and encouraged them to think more deeply.

Stationery, Pens, Pencils, Planners & Stickers | thejournalshop.com

The invention of paper revolutionised society. We use paper to create bank notes, newspapers, bandages, books; even if we don’t always notice it, it’s an integral part of our everyday lives.


So, what are the origins of the invention of papermaking that changed civilisation so drastically? This versatile material has an in depth and fascinating history that goes back as far as the 2nd century.


We go right to the beginning of this creation to find out more about how it became one of humankind’s most important inventions.

Who Invented Paper?

It’s difficult to give one answer to this question since the invention of paper has been influenced in so many ways to produce the final product we have today.


The word ‘paper’ derives from the Ancient Egyptian writing material called papyrus, which was woven from the stems of the papyrus plant. This material was being produced in Egypt and Greece as early as 3000 BC.


However, many define the origins of standardised, mass-produced paper to China in 105 AD.


For a more thorough answer and look at the evolution of paper, we’ve created a timeline following its key developments.

Paper Timeline

Pre 105 AD: Primitive Writing Materials

Writing was established long before the invention of paper, so humans had to find materials to either carve into or apply ink onto.


Natural resources such as clay, silk, wood, stone and leather were utilised. The Egyptians also used parchment paper. This was made from animal skins, usually sheep or cow. The skin was soaked the skin in water with chalk or flour and then salt was added to give it a smooth surface to write on.


However, in China, many early writings were scribed on long strips of bamboo with ink that was then bound together to make books.

Source: Peter Griffins

105 AD: China’s Standardised Paper

Although these primitive writing materials existed, they weren’t the most convenient solution. These were often very heavy or, in the case of silk, very expensive.


It was in 2nd century China that Ts’ai Lun, a Chinese court official of the Han Dynasty, documented the first modern method of papermaking in China. It seems Ts’ai Lun made the paper by mixing finely chopped mulberry bark and cotton/hemp rags with water, mashing it flat, and pressing out the water and drying it in the sun.


Over time, these papermakers experimented and produced a number of different types of paper: sized, coated and dyed. These developments significantly helped China advance as a country. By the 10th century,  the Chinese had introduced paper money to their monetary system.


Because of China’s secrecy over their production techniques, other countries throughout Central Asia and the Middle East began didn’t begin setting up paper mills until around the 600 ADs.

13th Century: European Paper

Eventually, the papermaking in China arrived in Europe. Italy invested the most within the industry and actually implemented improvements upon the Arabian technique they’d learned from.


It’s believed that when Italian traveller Marco Polo came back from his exploration in China, he reported their ingenious paper currency. This caught on in some European countries such as Spain who began using paper notes in 1483.

17th & 18th Century: Innovation & White Paper

The Europeans’ papermaking technology significantly advanced throughout these two centuries. More mechanical solutions were being introduced to replace hand and manual labour, such as Nicolas-Louis Robert’s flat-screen papermaking machine.


Robert’s design was further developed in England, and his invention became the core of the Fourdrinier machine: the basis for modern papermaking today.


To add to the innovations, Claude-Louis Bertholett, a French chemist, invented the chemical bleaching of pulp in 1785. This produced the level of white paper that is widely used today. It’s most likely that the French Revolutionaries were the first to use such white paper.


However, with this rise in technology and the qualities of paper came an increase in demand. This lead to a shortage in cotton rags, the key material in the process. Laws and regulations were introduced to try and govern the trade of rags.

Source: University of Iowa

19th Century: Wood-based Paper

A quest to replace cotton rags with a substitute raw material began in Europe. Different materials were tested, such as straw. However, often quality concerns would arise – nothing seemed to produce the same consistency.


Then, in 1843, Saxon Friedrich Gottlob Keller invented a wood-grinding machine that produced groundwood pulp ideal for papermaking. Soon after in 1854, Hugh Burgers and Charles Watts invented an alternative way to turn this wood into pulp: chemical pulping.

19th & 20th Century: Industrialisation of Paper Production

With the success of the groundwood pulp, it became the leading raw material for papermaking. The paper industry began to develop industrial plants that specifically produce wood-based paper on an industrial scale to meet the growing demand.


The innovation in mechanical papermaking processes increased drastically throughout the 19th and 20th  century. Eventually, it became entirely automated. Everything from the prep, pulping to the drying and packaging. The process had increased in speed, productivity and qualities of paper.


This level of innovation lead to more specialised types of paper grades, for example, lightweight coated papers for magazines, flyers, vouchers.

21st Century: New Possibilities

Today, the paper industry continues to grow and show new possibilities and applications.


So far, the 21st century technology has allowed us to do things like invent paper that can display whether a product is past its sell-by-date by changing colour or produce batteries from paper.


With the contemporary environmental concerns, paper companies are becoming increasingly aware about their impacts. New technology is being developed and invested in to reduce energy consumption from paper mills and generate biofuels.

Source: Ben Kerckx

How Paper is Produced

After centuries of streamlining the process, the modern day paper production now consists of the following steps:

Logging, Stripping & Chipping

The process starts with industrial quantities of tree trunks and logs are harvested. This wood is then put through a stripping machine that removes their bark. The wood is then ready to go into a chipping unit, which shreds it down into small strips.

Pulping & De-mulching

These small strips are then loaded into a large pressure boiler. When the strips is boiled with the large quantities of water it works to produce a paper pulp. The pulp is then de-mulched: water is removed from the pulp with a mesh screen.

Drying & Pressing

The product of the de-mulching is a raw fibrous paper layer, which is then passed through several drying cylinders to solidify its structure. After the drying process, the paper is put through a pressing unit. The weight of it works to equalise its surface texture and produce the desired thickness.


To end the process, the paper is treated with a starch solution or special chemicals to give a specific colour, texture, strength or resistance. The starch solution works to seal the surface of the paper to prevent excessive ink absorption during printing and writing.

Different Types of Paper

Today, paper is used in so many different capacities. Diaries and notebooks still play a huge role in this electronic era. We still receive many of our documents in letters delivered to our doors, we gain certificates on high quality cotton linen paper and decorate gifts in wrapping paper.  


What’s more, we’re finding new ways to use paper, like housing insulation can now be made from recycled paper. The paper is treated to be fire retardant, eliminating any health and safety risks and showing how far we’ve progressed in paper technology.


The invention of paper completely revolutionised first the Asian, then Western societies. Paper will remain a huge part of our everyday lives, but in a more planet friendly capacity with the help of recycling.


Despite being surrounded by technology, there’s just something a bit more special and meaningful about writing a thank you letter or sending a wedding invitation…


Shop Our Brand:

Stationary – Bookmarks, Clips, Scissors, Storage, Stickers, Rulers

Writing – Pencils, Ballpoints, Fountain Pens, Gel Pens, Multicolors 

Paper – Address Books, Diaries, Letter Writing, Books and Prints

90,000 current trends and future prospects

What’s most notable at this point is Japan’s investment in infrastructure in India through official development assistance.

Japan and India are the two main democracies in Asia. They are natural partners with potentially rather high economic complementarities. Burdened with a developed economy, aging population and low fertility, Japan needs a growth scenario.In developing such a scenario, it will be important for Japan to expand its relationship with India, which continues to grow rapidly. However, as the expectation-driven sluggishness of bilateral trade and foreign direct investment in India shows, these economic relations are far behind their potential. What’s most notable at this point is Japan’s investment in India’s infrastructure through official development assistance. India has high hopes for Japan as a development partner.This article discusses recent trends in multifaceted economic relations between Japan and India, as well as examines their prospects and challenges for the future. Sluggish trade between Japan and India. Before World War II, Japan imported large quantities of cotton and cast iron from India, and India accounted for 10% to 15% of Japan’s total trade. Currently, both countries are diversifying their trading partners, and the share of bilateral trade has declined. As of 2018, India accounted for 1.1% of Japan’s total trade, while Japan’s share of India’s trade was 2.1%.Despite the Japan-India Economic Partnership Agreement, which entered into force in August 2011, bilateral trade has not increased significantly. In 2018, trade between Japan and India was about $ 17.6 billion – less than trade between India and South Korea and only a fifth of India’s trade with China. Japan had a permanent trade surplus with India. The main imports from India are petroleum products (naphtha), organic chemicals, gemstones, and fish and shellfish.Horizontal trade did not develop between Japan and India, as can be seen in the trade in industrial products and spare parts between Japan and the countries of East Asia. While India has a comparative advantage in generics, pharmaceutical exports to Japan remain stagnant despite the EPA of Japan and India granting India national treatment for the registration of generics and related applications. While India exported $ 5.4 billion worth of pharmaceuticals to the United States in fiscal 2018, the corresponding exports to Japan were only $ 58.2 million.Active Direct Investment from Japan In contrast to the trade situation, foreign direct investment has a more dynamic trend. Japan is a major investor in India, second only to Mauritius and Singapore. In the years since 2007, Japan’s foreign direct investment in India has skyrocketed. Daiichi Sankyō’s acquisition of India’s largest drug maker, Ranbaxy Laboratories, and NTT Docomo’s participation in Tata Teleservices, boosted Japan’s net FDI in India to $ 5.551 million in 2008.It was followed by foreign direct investment of $ 3,664 million in 2009. Subsequently, when the above two companies left the Indian market, Japanese FDI in India slowed down, but the number of companies entering the Indian market grew steadily from 550 in 2008 to 1,441 in 2018. Suzuki’s success in India indicates that the advance Japanese automakers entered the market largely helped to raise the standards of the Indian manufacturing industry, for example, by improving the skills of workers and improving quality control.These changes have propelled Japanese companies into India in areas such as steel, machinery, power generation equipment, and logistics. In the air conditioning sector, Daikin has maintained its position as a leading brand. The advancement of Japanese companies to India is boosted in a wide range of areas such as food, stationery, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, plumbing and toiletries. In the retail sector, Muji of Ryōhin Keikaku opened its first Indian store in Mumbai in August 2016, and Fast Retailing opened its first Uniqlo store in New Delhi in October 2019.A 2019 Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) survey of Japanese manufacturers with overseas subsidiaries showed that India ranked first as a desirable place to do business in the long term (next 10 years) and in the medium term (next 3 years). The most common reason for India’s appeal was the future prospects of the domestic market. The expectations for India stood out in comparison to other geographic regions.On the other hand, India was below many geographic regions in satisfaction with sales and profits, a measure of business performance, a measure where it ranks on a par with Brazil and Russia. Some of the reasons discouraging investment in India were lack of infrastructure, fierce competition with other companies and lack of transparency in the enforcement of laws. Infrastructure development with Japanese official development assistance.In the economic relations between Japan and India, it is worth noting the important role that Japan played in the development of India’s infrastructure. India was the first recipient of international yen loans, which Japan began providing in 1958. In subsequent years, beginning in fiscal 2004, India was Japan’s largest recipient of ODA. Most of the yen loans went to the construction of subway systems. Delhi Metro, which began operations in 2002, is a successful example of the transfer of Japanese operating systems, building culture and safety technology to India.Japanese support for metro systems extended from New Delhi to Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Calcutta, and Chennai. Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor India is developing plans for five industrial corridors. Among these projects, it is the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), a joint Japanese-Indian project with an estimated investment of between $ 90 billion and $ 100 billion, that is gaining attention as a flagship project. With the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) designated by the freight railroad serving as the backbone, eight investment hubs are planned in a belt zone stretching across six states.Currently, 18 projects are being implemented within the framework of DMIC. Japan has acquired a 26% stake in Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corp., which has two employees on its board from JBIC. Initially, Japan proposed 19 candidate projects worth $ 4.5 billion. Among these projects, a successful example supported by NEC is Logistics Data Bank, an IT-based logistics visualization services project. Prime Minister of the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor Aso Taro pledged ODA loans for the construction of the Western DFC at the 2008 Japan-India Summit.The Western DFC will stretch 1504 km from Dadri (in the National Capital Region of Delhi) to the Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) on the opposite side of the Mumbai Port. Electric locomotives will transport double-decker containers on a double-track railway. Freight, which took three to four days from Delhi to Mumbai by conventional rail, will be able to complete the journey in one day, and the carrying capacity will increase 3.6 times per train. The Western DFC project was provided with a loan of 731.5 billion yen through the Japan International Cooperation Agency.Under the Special Conditions of Economic Partnership (STEP) loan, over 30% of the materials used must be sourced from Japan, and Japanese companies must act as prime contractors for each railroad construction package. However, India’s Ministry of Railways will take over the electric locomotive project as Japanese companies are reluctant to participate in the project due to cost factors. As of October 2019, 63% of the Phase 1 section (Rewari to Vadodar) and 31% of the Phase 2 section (Dadri to Rewari and Vadodar to JNPT) have been completed.Although the rail service is slated to begin by the end of 2021, it is likely that it will be delayed. Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed ​​Rail The construction of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail is attracting considerable interest as a new symbol of joint Japanese-Indian projects. The final decision on the implementation of Shinkansen technology for the above project was made at the Japan-India Summit held in December 2015. Japan agreed to cover 80.9% of the total construction cost (1.8 trillion yen) with ODA on very concessional terms. Maturity 50 years (including 15 years grace period) and an interest rate of 0.1%.The high-speed rail will be lifted all 508 kilometers, like in Japan, and the travel time will be reduced from eight to two hours. The East Japan Railway will be responsible for the transfer of Shinkansen technology in areas such as rolling stock, manufacturing and training of Indian personnel. The planned production of 240 shinkansen rolling stock will be primarily in Japan, unless such rolling stock is widely used on other rail lines.Although construction will take place from 2018 to the end of 2023, there is still a lot of uncertainty about the costs and expropriation of land. Indian Railways have already acquired 47% of the land required for the high-speed rail as of February 2020. However, in elections to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly in October 2019, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) did not win a majority, and a coalition government led by the regional Shiv Sena party, which is skeptical of the high-speed rail project, came to power.Since regional governments have strong powers over land expropriation, it will be necessary to monitor future developments. Expanding Human Exchange What has enabled the launch of the major infrastructure projects described above is an institutional structure that takes the form of annual summits between Japan and India through a Strategic and Global Partnership. Whether these projects can be completed will test the value of this bilateral partnership.Finally, the development of mutual understanding through active human exchanges will be extremely important in laying the foundation for expanding bilateral ties. This will be needed to increase Japan’s investment in India and for information technology partnerships. How to enhance human exchange is an important issue that must be widely considered by industry, government and academia involved in Japan-India relations, so that the lack of such exchanges does not become an obstacle to strengthening ties between our countries.(Originally published in Japanese. Banner photo: Indian Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shakes hands with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Shinkansen platform at Tokyo Station, November 12, 2016 © Jiji. Credit: Nippon.com


Office supplies TN VED codes (2020): 4820

0, 4820109000, 9608300000

School supplies for children and adolescents: stationery rubber bands (erasers), 4016920000
School supplies for children and adolescents, in sets and in separate items: stationery rubber bands (erasers), 4016920000
School supplies for children and adolescents, in sets and as separate items: stationery rubber bands (erasers) 4016920000
School supplies for children and adolescents, including sets: stationery rubber bands (erasers), 4016920000
School supplies for children and adolescents in sets and separate items: stationery rubber bands (erasers), 3926100000
School supplies for children – stationery, including sets, with the Erhaft trademark: 3926100000
Wooden, metal furniture for administrative premises: racks, pedestals (racks), wardrobes, office cabinets, wardrobes, pedestals, mobile pedestals, side tables, tables, coffee tables, meeting tables, 9401710009
SCHOOL-WRITING ACCESSORIES (STATIONERY), intended for children and adolescents: stationery rubber bands (erasers) – in sets and as separate items. 4016920000
School supplies for children and adolescents: stationery rubber bands (erasers) 4016920000
Stationery for children and adolescents: pens, markers, rulers, pencils, including mechanical pencils, erasers, notebooks, diaries, brushes (with natural and artificial bristles), wax crayons, pastel, lime, t 9603301000
School supplies for children and adolescents: stationery rubber bands 4016920000
School stationery made of metal (stainless steel), with elements of polymer materials (polypropylene): scissors for children 8213000000
Stationery set (wood, SAN, iron, thermoplastic rubber) of the Oriflame Disney series for children over 3 years old: ruler, pencil, eraser 3926100000
School supplies for children and adolescents, in sets and as separate items: stationery rubber bands 4016920000
Oriflame brand stationery set for children over 3 years old: ruler, pencil, sharpener, eraser 3926100000
School supplies and stationery for children and adolescents, including sets: ballpoint pens, gel pens, felt-tip pens, paints, wax pencils, paint brushes, stands for 4820103000
Stationery for children and adolescents, complete and as separate items


SCHOOL WRITING ACCESSORIES (STATIONERY) intended for children and adolescents: pens (ballpoint, gel), markers, felt-tip pens (including washable) – in sets and as separate items. 9608200000
School supplies for children and adolescents: stationery rubber bands, 4016920000
Stationery for children: 9608101000
School supplies for children and adolescents, including in sets and separate items: stationery rubber bands (erasers), 4016920000
SCHOOL WRITING ACCESSORIES (STATIONERY), intended for children and adolescents 4820
School supplies for children and adolescents, in sets and as separate items, plastic, without metal blades: office scissors, 3926100000

Japan, Tokyo.ISOT Tokyo 2022 Stationery & Office Exhibition January

ISOT Tokyo 2022 January

Tokyo Japan International Stationery & Office Supplies Show

The 5th International Stationery & Office Products Fair Tokyo or ISOT 2022 will be held from January 26 to 28 in Tokyo, Japan, as part of Lifestyle Week Tokyo 2022 January, an integrated exhibition for the gift and lifestyle industry.It is the leading trade show in Japan for all kinds of stationery, paper products (pens, pencils, paper, files, notebooks, diaries, supplies, etc.) The show attracts exhibitors from importers, wholesalers, retailers and buyers from all over the world. , buyers from large Japanese stores.

LLC “AA-Expo” provides services of visiting and participating in international exhibitions; for information from the organizers of exhibitions is not responsible, but checks … If you are traveling on your own, check the relevance of the information about the exhibition using the link below.

Country, city: Japan, Tokyo

Location: Tokyo Makuhari Messe – International Convention Complex (Chiba)

Frequency: 3 times a year

Dates: 01/26/2022 – 01/28/2022

Working hours: 10: 00-18: 00, last. day 10: 00-17: 00

Organizers: Reed Exhibitions Japan Ltd.

Website: https: // www.lifestyle-expo-spring.jp/en-gb/about/isot.html

Type of activity (OKVED): – forestry and logging, PROCESSING PRODUCTION :, – wood processing, wood products, cork, weaving materials, – paper and paper products, – printing and copying of media, – computers, electronic and optical products, – publishing, – film production , video films, television programs, publishing of sound recordings and sheet music

Main product groups: pens, pencils, calligraphy and sketching kits, accessories for artists and designers, paints, paper products, notebooks, diaries, calendars, files, paper clips, erasers, stamps, staplers, rulers, glue, files , greeting cards, office accessories, sustainable office supplies, trendy gift wrapping, art craft products and materials for their manufacture, designer stationery, greeting cards, office supplies, office equipment

90 000 Games in Time of Plague: Why the Tokyo Olympics Bother Scientists
  • Nikolay Voronin
  • Science Correspondent

Photo Credit: Reuters

The XXXII Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games opening on Friday in Tokyo will be the strangest sporting events in history.

Restrictive measures introduced in the Olympic Village, as well as in Tokyo and two neighboring prefectures in connection with the coronavirus pandemic, prohibit spectators not only from appearing in the stands, but even getting together for a collective viewing of the competition.

The list of strict rules and prohibitions compiled for participants in the Olympics and members of official delegations is 70 pages. Last week, the head of the IOC, Thomas Bach, even said that the probability of transmission of the virus from athletes who came to the Games to the inhabitants of Japan is zero – for which, however, he was immediately ridiculed by epidemiological experts.

Considering that guests have come to the Games from everywhere, and new cases of Covid-19 infection among them have been detected every day in the last week, doctors and scientists from all over the world express fears that the Olympic Village could become a place for a massive spread of the virus, turning into a kind of a cup Petri planetary scale.

Late start

The fears of experts are not least related to the fact that of all the rich countries of the first world (with the exception of Australia and New Zealand), it is in Japan that the situation with vaccination against Covid-19 is perhaps the worst.

If in Canada at least one dose of the vaccine has already been received by over 70% of the population, and in the USA and the countries of the European Union – more than half, in Japan, which receives guests from all over the world these days, hardly more than a third. This is despite the fact that almost 30% of the country’s inhabitants have overcome the 65-year mark, that is, they are at risk: in case of infection, many of them will need hospitalization.

According to the Japanese press, there are several reasons for this sluggishness, but the main one is the excessive arrogance of the Japanese authorities.

In Tokyo, they were so sure that Japanese scientists would be able to create their own vaccine that they forgot to play it safe just in case and put all their eggs in one basket, without worrying about the supply of other drugs.

Photo author, EPA

Photo caption,

Unlike many other countries, the coronavirus pandemic did not turn into a catastrophe in Japan.

However, by December 2020, when a massive vaccination campaign had already begun in the UK and some other countries, Japanese developers just began the second phase of clinical trials of its own DNA vaccine with the participation of 500 people, announcing that the Japanese drug will not appear on the market until 2022.

As a result, the host country of the 2020 Olympics had to stand at the end of a long line lined up with other manufacturers. And a full-fledged vaccination there could begin only by mid-May, when there were just over two months left before the Olympics.

And although the vaccination campaign has been steadily gaining momentum since then, according to experts, its start was so delayed that it was no longer possible to make up for lost time.

Recommended lockdown

Especially ironic against this background is the fact that last year, when it was decided to postpone the 2020 Olympics and hold a year later, the epidemiological situation in Japan was much better than now.

Like other countries that survived the SARS epidemic in 2003 and had experience with the new respiratory virus, Japan has been able to contain the spread of Covid-19 for a relatively long time.

By the beginning of May 2020, when in Russia the number of confirmed cases of infection exceeded 100 thousand, in Japan, comparable in population, there were more than six times less. The country crossed the hundred thousandth milestone only by November, when the Russian statistics of infected people had already exceeded 1.5 million.

It should be noted that, unlike Italy, the USA, Russia, Brazil, India and many other countries, the coronavirus pandemic in Japan did not turn into a disaster – although, it would seem, there were all the conditions for this.

Photo author, Reuters

Caption to photo,

Among many other guests of the Olympics in Tokyo, the first lady of the United States flew in.

The right to freedom of movement is spelled out in the Japanese constitution, so introduce a hard lockdown following the example of China, Russia, Britain or the United States in the country it was impossible: neither the federal nor the regional authorities had the authority to do this.So all the restrictive measures introduced in Japan were purely advisory in nature.

However, the world-famous Japanese self-discipline worked perfectly well: the residents of the country strictly followed the recommendations of the authorities. Not least for this reason, in terms of the number of deaths from the virus per capita, Japan lags behind the world average by four times, from Russian official statistics – eight times, and from the American one – 15 times.

“Don’t go there, go here”

The decision on July 8 that the 2020 Games will still be held, albeit without spectators, caused an ambiguous reaction in the scientific community.However, all experts agree that the organizers of the Olympics took all possible measures to minimize the risk of infection.

For example, athletes were urged to come to the country as late as possible and to leave as early as possible: no later than two days after the end of their participation in the competition.

The 70-page brochure, which is distributed to all participants and guests of the Games, details the rules and prohibitions in force during the Olympics, Paralympics – and two weeks after the end of both events, just in case.

Photo author, EPA

For example, in the Olympic Village it is forbidden to hug, shake hands – and in general it is recommended to stay as far apart as possible. In rooms for athletes, where people are usually accommodated in twos, even pillows on the beds were arranged so that neighbors slept with their heads in different directions, reducing the risk of infection.

It is forbidden to cheer athletes by shouting during competitions, as this also increases the risk of transmission of the virus. Instead, the organizers recommend supporting the competitors with a round of applause.

Participants themselves are strongly advised not to visit any places or events other than those included in their own personal program, drawn up even before arrival. In particular, all athletes must list in advance all the people with whom they intend to regularly communicate during the visit.

Do not watch sports broadcasts in large groups in squares, streets or restaurants. Drinking alcohol, by the way, is also prohibited: a dry law will be in force in the Olympic Village.

In addition, you must not appear in public or move around without a protective mask.

There are only three exceptions to this rule: the mask can be removed while sleeping, while eating and during the competition itself (but not training).

Exceptions were not made even for the athletes who won prizes, so as not to spoil the photos. On the podium during the award ceremony, the Olympians will also have to stand in masks.

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