You might think they’re too gorgeous to use, but then you’ll miss half the fun.
In this decidedly digital age of human history, deciding to write something by hand has become largely an artistic choice. So if you’re looking to extend that sense of tranquil beauty all the way to your writing instrument itself, these cherry blossom-shaped pencils from Japan might be just what you’re looking for.
The idea for the Blooming Cherry Blossom Pencil (Sakura Saku Enpitsu in Japanese) came from a contest held by Tokyo-based Sun-Star Stationary which asked contestants to submit unique product ideas. But while the concept for the sakura pencils received its award from judges in the spring of 2015, it wasn’t until now that the company was able to completely sort out their design and manufacture, which is carried out at a factory in Tokyo’s historical Shitamachi district.
The most dramatic connection to Japan’s best-loved flower is the shape of the pencil’s shaft, which is evocative of the five-petal cherry blossom. A second salute comes from the paint used to color the shaft, with a light hue based on the Somei Yoshino (Japan’s most iconic sakura species) and also a more vibrant pink like that of the flowers on the Kawazuzakura cherry blossom tree.
But there’s even more sakura style to be found here. If you use a knife or cutter to sharpen the pencil, the shavings taken off will be in the shape of cherry blossom petals!
The pencils are intended for gift-giving, and come individually packaged, with a paper wrapper with space to write a message to the recipient.
At 394 yen (US$3.80), it’s a bit on the expensive side for a pencil, but it’s sure to be a memorable present. Plus, the numbers 3, 9, and 4 can be read as “sa,” “ku,” and “yo” in Japanese, forming the expression “Saku yo.” Literally, the phrase means “It will bloom,” but it’s also used to show belief that someone will achieve their dreams and aspirations, so in this case, even the gift’s price is meant to convey kind wishes.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s trying to remember where he put his Ah! My Goddess Skuld hammer mechanical pencil.
[ Read in Japanese ]