The eagerly awaited new issue of Stationery Hobby Box (Shumi no bungu bako), volume 17 arrived today from a friend in Tokyo. The cover story this time is (roughly translated) ‘Cool Pens and Notebooks We Want to Try Right Now,’ The fountain pen featured in the center of the cover is a new model from Montblanc, the Meisterstück Diamond, a treasure in two sizes for those willing to dig deep into their wallet.
Feature articles in this issue include one on notebooks, pens and ink for work, a beautiful page on the Pelikan 100 series, an Herbin story on the new 1670 ink, and including a fold-out color chart, a long article on the world of nibs, and several pages on Mina Ishiwatari, President of Hoppy Beverage Company. Ms Ishiwatari is featured because she owns a collection of 250 fountain pens, writes a daily blog in longhand with pen and ink, choosing the pen and ink that suits her mood each time. Have a look here. I chose two pages from the Ishiwatari article to scan, partially because one page shows two new limited edition Iroshizuku inks, edo-murasaki and shimbashi-iro. There is a third limited edition color called fukagawa-nezu. Samples of the murasaki and fukagawa above are from The Laurel Tree blog. To my eyes, the fukagawa-nezu is a must have.
The current issue is the first to include an advertisement related to Apple's iPad. A company named Mejin Takuya is now making an iPad leather slipcase that comes in fourteen colors. If I’m converting the yen to dollar rate correctly, this little luxury item sells for $425, only $74 less than the iPad.
The article on fountain pen nibs around the world is twelve pages of stunning detail. From a brief look, the writer and photographer don’t seem to have left out much.
Little surprise to find another article on the acclaimed “God of Fountain Pens” Nobuyoshi Nagahara, and the fadeless beauty of his Naginata nibs. This is a man who has been making nibs for Sailor over the past sixty-four years.
Also included in this quarter’s issue is information and photographs of ten different notebooks, diaries, planners and sketchbooks. This line up, though beautiful in design and layout, is a little disappointing in that none of the featured products come in a blank page alternative, except for the Drawing Block sketchbooks. Life is offering a new hardbound journal that looks good, but also has lined pages.
In an earlier post on Stationery Hobby Box, I bemoaned the fact that eighty percent of the stationery goods showcased in the magazine are too expensive for my budget, but the presentations alone are a pleasure to ogle and wish for. This magazine is exceptional in the quality of its writing, photography, layout and design, and to me worth its $17 price tag.
For those interested in further sample pages from Stationery Hobby Box, there are some earlier posts here: