Part of loving pens and suchlike is a tendency to like other items of stationery… I even heard on the latest Pen Addict podcast that there’s even a recent buzzfeed online questionnaire to check if you are a stationery addict, so I looked it up. You can check it out here.
Today I’m doing something different. As a further part of ‘Japan week’ I’m reviewing a Midori ‘Japan works’ ruler. Midori has been a leading stationery brand in Japan since 1950. Their ‘Japan Works’ collection of rulers showcase the traditional crafts of various areas of Japan, using ancient materials and techniques in a modern form. These rulers are machined from satin-finished aluminium and inlaid with various materials to make them extremely attractive.
Presentation: These stylish items come in a handsome presentation sleeve with information on the craft behind the ruler. The sleeve is composed of a thick inner card with the ruler inset into it. Around this is an orange and silver cover that has information about the series and the particular craft used in making the ruler. This is then encased in two polypropylene sheathes and a hard transparent case. Very nicely done.
On Test: The ruler I have is made using Hakone yosegi ‘iro yose’ parquetry. This craft dates back to the Edo period (the period between 1603 and 1868 in Japan) and originates in Hatjuku in the Kanagawa prefecture. The pieces of wood are inlaid into the ruler and each is prepared, polished and the arranged to highlight the colour and texture of each piece of wood. in turn. It is a truly beautiful piece of kit and well designed too.
The ruler is metric, ruled in millimetres and centimetres. It has a notched edge, making it easier to pick up. There’s nothing worse than messing around with a ruler that doesn’t want to be picked up. These merely flip up due to the notch that is machined out of the underside of the aluminium, great idea!
Summary: As with most if not all Midori products these are very well made and very stylish the only drawback to these that I can see is the cost although some are cheaper than others. The expensive ones can range up to about £45 in the UK or $60 in the US. I think that they are great as gifts for the stationery nut in your life.