We’ve always been big fans of Tombow stationery, which began as a pencil manufacturer over 100 years ago and now produces some of Japan’s most popular desk products.
This simple pencil was the first pencil to be awarded Japan’s Eco Mark for its eco-friendly production techniques. Not only is the wood sourced by recycling offcuts, but the quality leads are made by refining a recycled graphite byproduct of Tombow factories.
The process has its own subtle design feature, too. A “finger joint” technique is used to interlock the wood offcuts, creating a zig-zag pattern on each pencil. Left natural in colour and titled Kimonogatari (Tree story), it’s now a simple design classic.
Tombow is a family company, originally founded in 1913 as Harunosuke Ogawa Shoten as a pencil maker and taking on the "tombow" (dragonfly) trademark in the late 1920s. Since then, it’s become synonymous with stationery in Japan, producing everything from simple wooden pencils to mechanical pencils, erasers and countless high-tech pens. Always at the forefront of functional stationery design, Tombow’s products include Mono erasers, PiT glue sticks, Ippo pencils and other now-classic staples of Japanese stationery.