They’re in! The Hobonichi Techos + their covers have finally arrived. I’m a bit more relaxed now compared to my initial blog post announcing that we’re going to be carrying them because I have mine next to me as I’m writing this post 🙂
It’s the craziest thing about these shipments we get directly from Japan: these boxes with Japanese labels and characters and they’re slightly beaten up looking, but with absolutely minimal packaging, our new and precious items all arrive safely and perfectly fitted into these perfectly sized cardboard boxes.
There are two main reasons why the Hobonichi Techo has become so incredibly popular: the Tomoe River paper, and the day per page formatting.
The Tomoe River paper is super thin paper that allows the planner to hold so many pages while not becoming large or cumbersome – in fact, the Techo is actually a slim and smaller agenda, and it’s a bit surprising to see how many pages it can actually hold. When you hold the Techo in your hand, though, you can feel the substantialness of it, this slim book.
But really, the best part of the Tomoe River Paper is that it’s one of the best papers out there for fountain pens. Your dry time will be slow, but you will get shading and sheen and extremely limited or no feather or bleed through at all. There are artists and calligraphers who use flex or dip pens or watercolour brushes and while the paper will get a bit crinkly, there’s no bleed through of excess ink.
The day per page formatting isn’t new, but the overall physical shape and size of the book give this format some new life. I’ve heard from so many people that they now use their Hobonichi for daily journaling because it gives a perfect page size for recording a day’s events. The structure gives you something to follow along, and reminds you to keep faithful, but it’s also not a huge page that needs to be filled up with long stories or complex ideas.
My favourite part, though, is of course the small details. There is a quotation on every other page, translated from the Japanese, often offering some real and concrete encouragement on getting through life, while still offering a bit of that idealism, or being funny and thoughtful. For example, Tuesday, June 7th’s is:
There are always two kinds of plans. There are plans where you say, “There’s no time to waste. Let’s get down to it.” And there are plans where you say, “Wait a minute. Now’s not the time.” There’s a big difference between waiting when it’s just hesitation, causing you to miss the chance to start – and waiting while making the conscious decision to wait for the right time to start. – Shigesato Itoi, copywriter/editor in chief, Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shimbun
There are the two types of monthly calendars in the front, one with the days in a list format, and one with the month spread on two facing pages.
The back offers several pages with a dot grid ruling for notes, as well some interesting information on Japanese culture, such as a map of Japan with information on the regions and “Tips for an enjoyable Japanese dining experience.”
We have the black cover (black exterior & interior) and the blue-green cover (teal blue exterior, and a green interior). These are made of a soft polyester, and have pockets inside for storing cards, if you want to use it as a wallet, or notes, tickets, photos, etc. In case you’re curious, the Midori MD Goat Skin A6 Leather Cover also fits the Techo.
In you need some inspiration on how folks are using their Hobonichi Techos, here are a few of my favourites.
This is actually one of my favourite blog posts that I’ve ever read on journaling – the author is reflecting on a year of extensive journaling – and goes over the different systems he’s used to reflect and record his days’ events. He uses the Hobonichi, but what I really love about this blog post is that he talks both about the physical labour and tools of journaling as well as the exercise of the mind, and the reflection and mental energy of journaling. Bonus: there is also a great review of the Hobonichi Techo! I think I may follow something similar to his style, but I still have a few months to really think about it before diving in!
There are some really amazing Instagram accounts that document their Hobonichi journaling, if you are interested in more of a visual journal style – try searching up the hashtag Hobonichiplanner or Hobonichi. Two of my favourites are @cecicat and @ha_ss, but there are many, many others.
I think I underestimated how many people are interested in these, and so we may be placing a second order depending on demand. If you’re really keen on getting yours to get set up for 2016, I might suggest moving quickly – you can see them on the website here.
However, if we sell out before you can get what you’d like, please send us an e-mail! If there’s enough interest, we will definitely place a second order. We will not be doing “pre-orders” where you pay in advance to reserve it, but we will be taking into account how much interest there is to place a second order. Particularly if you are interested in one of the covers, please let me know! There are also yellow, navy and pink covers available.
I am so excited to dive in and share how it’s going – to share how I’m actually using it and what features or parts of it that are most useful or beautiful to me. I’ll definitely be trying to share on Instagram but also on the blog. I’m really starting to get into Instagram, I guess because I’m a pretty visual person so I find Instagram a great way to share slices of shop life, but I love being able to share more of the details and story behind things on the blog.
Also (not to be a let down or anything…but…) come and visit me over in Pinterest! Jon had been taking care of the Wonder Pens Pinterest account ever since we created one, but it’s been dormant for a while. I’m really looking forward to (re-)starting our Pinterest account! It’s looking a little empty and dusty right now, but stick with me!