Japanese writing materials "Bunbogu"

bunbogu image shodo set

There are various Bunbogu in Japan!

Bunbogu is stationery or writing materials in English. Bunbo means in a study, gu means a tools in Japanese. Japanese Bunbogu is broadly separated into ten categories, writing implement, auxiliary writing tools, paper implement, drawing materials, Shodo implement, design implement, measuring implement, arranging implement, printing implement and calculating implement.

Shodo which is called calligraphy in English is a unique Asia culture. Japanese Shodo implement includes thick brush, thin brush, ink stone, paper weight, desk pad, ink stick, small jug and brush roll. A calculating implement includes not only calculator but also Japanese abacus called Soroban in Japan.

Occasions of writing something are reducing because of PC, tablet and smartphone nowadays. However, elementary school students usually write something every day even now. Most of them in Japan must have and bring Bunbogu to the school, pencil, red and blue pencil, eraser, pencil sharpener, pencil case, notes, 12 colors pencils, crayon or pastel crayon, desk pad, ruler, scissors and glue.

A red and blue pencil is used for making one's own test, red is for correct answer, blue is used for wrong answer. 12 colors pencils and crayon are used for art class.

red and blue pencil

Elementary school students in some school must have other Bunbogu adding above Bunbogu, stapler, scotch tape, box cutter, triangle ruler (set square), protractor and compass. Since they have many and various Bunbogu, a stationary store sells it for kids with printing some characters, Disney, Pokemon, Snoopy and more. Some stationary stores sell a pencil with printing names of stations, cars or airplane for some geek kids. However, some schools prohibit to bring them to the school because some students cannot focus in classes.

High school students are free to have various Bunbogu, girl students especially have cute or kawaii Bunbogu. Scissors, stapler and paper clip like animals are very popular among them. Mt. Fuji eraser is also popular among students including boys. It becomes like Mt. Fuji after using it sometimes. On the other hand, they have Bunbogu which help their study more efficiently like pencil for using a long time, highlighter with window for stopping easily.

stapler and paper clip like animals Mt. Fuji eraser highlighter with window

When you travel Japan, it might to be a good idea to go stationary store and buy Bunbogu. Itoya opened from 1904 in Ginza is one of the biggest stationary stores in Japan. Sekaido in Shinjyuku is also one of the biggest stationary stores sells not only writing implement but also various painting materials. You can experience Japanese culture through Bunbogu.