Precious memories: a short review of the Maruman Mnemosyne A5 notepad

Life is full of memories. The problem is keeping hold of them all…Which is why we write things down I guess. On day four of our week reviewing lovely Japanese stationery products we’re taking a look at the Mnemosyne notebook produced by the Japanese manufacturer Maruman.

Presentation: My first impression of the staple bound pad that lies before me is one of fitness for function and understated elegance, one could say two quintessential Japanese virtues. The cover is thick black cardstock with gold embossed titles near the bottom. Inside this there is a contrasting bright yellow page of textured which explains the name ‘Mnemosyne’  – it being the name of the ancient greek goddess of memory and mother to the Muses; themselves the nine goddesses who were thought to embody the spirit of the arts.

This pad came encased in a hard black plastic cover with gold titling on the front. It opens up to reveal the pad and a handy tab inside the front cover to keep  hold of loose pages and suchlike.

Paper: The paper itself is smooth, I would say as smooth as Rhodia paper and I would estimate it to be about the same weight, approximately 80gsm. It is somewhat off-white in colour and the page I have is marked in a 5mm grid format with a section of the date and title at the top of the page. The ruling appears to be in a grey ink which is unobtrusive and sticks nicely in the background.

On Test: I decided to use Pilot Iroshizuku Tsukushi ink on this and am very pleased with the results. Tsukushi is an intense and complex chestnut brown ink that I use regularly. I’m pleased to report that this paper is very fountain pen friendly. As I wrote with my chosen pen the paper responded well to the ink. My perception is that the ink dried faster than on my normal stock test Rhodia paper, I could not detect any feathering or bleedthrough and the paper coped well  with the dreaded drip test where I placed a large splodge (that’s a technical term) of ink and left it to dry. Returning to the paper some time later the ink spot had dried without spreading and considering the amount of very intense ink the paper coped excellently.

Summary: This is a very nice notepad. Excellently made and of top quality. I like using it. The only drawbacks I can see is the availability and the cost. It is relatively expensive and not so widely available in the UK (I know Jetpens stock it in the US you lucky people). But if you can afford it and can get it where you live I highly recommend it.



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