Takegami Products 100% Bamboo Notebook–End of Book Review

The Takegami Notebook from Takegami Products is fountain pen friendly in an unfortunate way: Ink doesn’t bleed or ghost but the paper texture makes it unusable for all but a few fountain pens.

The Takegami Notebook is made in Japan from 100% Japanese bamboo. The name is made from the letter 竹 “take”  (pronounced the similar to “Takei” in George Takei) meaning “bamboo” and 紙 “gami” meaning “paper”.

The logo with 竹紙 and 100.

The logo with 竹紙, bamboo and 100.

The two notebooks I tested are B5 sized and contain 60 pages (30 sheets) of fairly hefty ruled paper. The are saddle stitched with thread. One notebook is in a tan “natural” look with pages matching the cover. The other has white pages and a white cover. If you’re in Japan, I’ve seen them for sale in ItoYa. Otherwise they are available from sellers on Amazon.

The two Takegami notebooks.

The two Takegami notebooks. I like the bamboo decoration on the covers.

Although it felt good with ballpoint pens and roller ball pens–even pencils worked well–I found the tan version to be unusable for many fountain pens. The page has some natural tooth which makes any pen scratchy. My smoothest pens sounded like Platinum or Nakaya nibs (which sound like pencils being scratched across paper). My Platinum and my Nakaya sounded as if I was pressing my fingernails tightly against the paper and dragging them across. The Nakaya, especially, was unusable on the paper, despite having a broad nib.

The white notebook was better, although it had a bit more ghosting.  I disliked the tan version enough that I stopped using it.

I’ll probably keep my eye on the company. I like the idea of notebooks made from materials other than paper. The white paper is usable, but I don’t like the size of the notebooks. I hope they stick around long enough to put out different shapes and sizes.


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