Pens and Pencils for Writing

Hi All,

I have been looking at the real brush pens and mechanical pencils on Jlist/Amazon.

Was just interested in what people buy when practicing writing Kana and Kanji or if they just use normal pens and pencils.



I use a Kuru Toga mechanical pencil but it really doesn’t matter that much

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I don’t know where it came from, but I suddenly had a Papermate felt-tip pen of some kind. I use that for my grammar notes specifically, as writing kanji with it gives it just a bit of a brush feel. Just slightly.
But I also use regular ballpoint pens and pencils, if I’m out or lazy - whatever’s handy.


I use a Uni Jetstream 0.38mm ballpoint. It’s great for writing tiny kana. I like to write in tiny writing. A leftover habit from having only one page of notes allowed during finals.

If you need to write small kanji, I recommend a 0.3mm mechanical pencil. Otherwise any good-quality mechanical pencil will do it. I personally like the ones from 無印良品. :slight_smile:


I’d say this depends on both your personal preference and also on how much money you’re willing to spend. Japan makes some really nice small millimeter pens and pencils (smaller than are available in the US), but they can get pretty costly.

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I’ve tried many, and found these to be the best (so far):


I need this! I’ve never seen 0.28mm before!

@JawaOwl , might I also recommend you take a look at this thread about Japanese Stationary?

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They like to stay still a lot? (I’m sure they actually meant stationery)


It’s spelled with an “a”. That “e” just looks really wrong.

No,Gaidheal is correct. “Stationary” is an adjective and refers to the state of not moving or immobility. “Stationery” is a collective noun used for writing materials.


Really is up to your preference.

I use a Staedtler 925 05 as a pencil, for both Japanese and any other writing. I originally picked it up in college and stuck with it since. Solid mechanical pencil, but a bit pricey. For lead, I use Staedtler Mars micro carbon 2b 0.5 mm, which is a higher quality type of lead and just feels good to write with. When I don’t have that, I usually any mid to high quality HB or 2B lead. For eraser, the one on the Staedtler naturally is okay, but not great, so I use Faber-Castell 7086-30, which works fantastically for most types of paper and lead. As for paper, I use whatever Costco has in it’s better quality printer paper and I print my own lines as necessary. Otherwise, I use the notebooks provided by Moleskin or Diaso. If I am writing on something finer, I usually order from French Paper Co.

For pens, I haven’t put as much thought into it since I didn’t use a lot of pens in college. For regular writing I use a Slicci Ultra Fine 0.25 mm pen. For nicer writing, I have another pilot pen that I use, but I don’t remember the number for it.

Anyways, it doesn’t really matter in the end what pen or pencil you use, unless your real particular. The only common agreement from people I talk to on the subject is that the preference is towards things that write with a size less then .5 mm.

I picked up a couple of these at Kinokuniya in Seattle when I was there. Love the brush tip for writing Japanese. By Kuretake.


Err, no. It’s not. Reading the thread you referred had me laughing, with things like stationary shops (as opposed to all those mobile ones, I assume :wink: ).


I’ve seen many people talk about what they’re writing with, but what about what they’re writing on?

Do people just use plain paper, or do they go for something else?

(I figured this was relevant enough to this topic to avoid starting a new one)


I don’t write much Japanese, but I got these and use them every day for my notes at work. I did get them with Japanese in mind and while it isn’t thin (so writing small kanji may be difficult), I liked the look of the strokes overall.

i think tools doesn’t matter~ use cheap pencil and normal pen is far enough (at least for me)~

tools doesnt make artist~♪


Holding this pencil in my hands right now. I love it.

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Best pencil; stopped using my computer to take notes in college as a result of using it for Japanese.

I’ve never been one of those people who cares about what they use for writing (unless it’s one of those scratchy ballpoint pens) but everyone should own a Kuru Toga