Monday, October 12, 2009

Japan is heaven for a cartoonist because you can buy any supplies you want almost anywhere. I LOVE "stationery stores" (bunboguten), especially the small gramma-and-grandpop ones with lots of really old stuff, like ancient protractors and drafting guides and dip pens with years-old price tags. I stop at EVERY bunboguten I see because you never know what you might find. Here are some pics of the stores I frequent.

A small joint near my school in Kobe

A small joint near my school in Kobe, where I recently blew 6000 yen on Gocco supplies discounted to 20%! You do the math...

Pens pens pens

Whole lotta pens

A fancier shop that sells lots of European supplies

A fancier shop that sells a lot of European brands.

Word balloons templates

I would have bought this word-balloon template for the novelty if it wasn't so expensive. It's also really small.

Gocco supplies in the back

I'm always keeping tabs on whether anyone else is buying this stuff. I think nobody does.

My favorite aisle at one store

You can see a small stand of screentone pages! I love flipping through them. My favorite ones are tacky, over-rendered backgrounds.

Weirdly expensive pencil sharpeners (6000 yen)

Interesting tin pencil sharpeners

Gocco inks

Gocco inks

The top is pen nibs. The bottom is all different brands of (manga) artists' white ink

Attention Sam Gaskin, get your white-out of choice here. There's also tons of pen nibs.

A variety of inks, plus staplers, pins, clips and magnets

A variety of fun stuff.

Letter templates in English, katakana, numbers, symbols, patterns...

Trace your lettering in English, Japanese, numerals, wingdings, numerals, italics...

Still in the packaging!

I just love all this stuff!



I was surprised to learn via NPR that Japan actually has more consumer products out there than we do.

Ryan Cecil said...

Yeah, that sounds right. In addition to loving to buy small cute things en masse like stationery, souvenirs, toys and accessories, Japan has a very gift-giving culture, so kids and adults are constantly buying small things for their friends like cards, books, and sweets. For the same reason, a lot of snack foods are sold with individually-wrapped candies inside the bag (this is annoying if you just want to eat a whole box of cookies by yourself).

Alan Resnick said...

Looks amazing

noel troll said...

whoa, you're a office supply store freak! jk jk, that word balloon template is beautiful, miss u baby

Sam Gas Can said...

I wish a store like this could survive in America...