Japanese-made pens include a versatile range of options, from fountain pens with exquisite, lacquered designs to cost-effective office pens. Knowing the difference between Japanese-made pen brands may help you select your next writing instrument.
What Are the Top Japanese Pen Brands?
Fountain pens were introduced to Japan during the Meiji period, which lasted from 1868 to 1912. Some of the first fountain pens produced in Japan featured the maki-e technique.
Maki-e is a lacquering technique believed to have developed in Japan close to 1200 years ago. Maki-e pens include a lacquered design on a strong-bodied pen. This maki-e technique is still employed by many of today’s leading Japanese pen brands.
During the early 20th century, many Japanese companies competed for dominance in the pen industry. By the 1960s, three companies emerged as the leaders of the market. Pilot, Sailor, and Platinum brands outlasted their rivals and remain among the largest pen companies in the world.
Here is a closer look at the top Japanese pen brands currently available.
AP Limited Editions
AP Limited Editions is an LA-based company that specializes in producing high-end writing instruments featuring the Japanese lacquer technique and Russian influences.
Anuj Poddar founded AP Limited Editions in 2006 due to his passion for fountain pens. He creates true works of art that can last generations.
Kyoto TAG fountain pen ink is a brand of water-based ink with a history that goes back over a millennium. The TAG stationery store manufactures the inks in Kyoto, Japan.
The inks are made locally using a traditional dying technique. Kyoto inks offer smooth writing for use in fountain pens and are available in a variety of colors.
Namiki is a Japanese brand of pens manufactured by the Pilot Pen Corporation. Namiki pens are the most recognizable example of the maki-e technique. These pens include lacquered designs with intricate images and details.
The Pilot Pen Corporation is one of the big three Japanese pen companies, along with Sailor and Platinum. Ryosuke Namiki founded the company in 1918. By 1926, the company had established offices in London, Boston, and other parts of the world.
Pilot has released several innovative pen designs over the years, including the Capless pen in 1960. The Capless pen was a fountain pen with a fully retractable nip.
Nakaya is the original name of the Platinum Pen Company. Shunichi Nakata founded Nakaya in 1919. The company would eventually change its name to Platinum but continues to use the Nakaya brand for its pens.
Shunichi Nakata changed the name of his company from Nakaya to Platinum in 1928. A few years later, the company launched a mail-order system. Platinum is a popular brand known for its luxurious fountain pens with many customization options.
Along with Pilot and Platinum, Sailor is one of the largest three makers of Japanese-made pens. Kyugoro Sakata founded the Sailor Pen Company in Hiroshima in 1911 after receiving a fountain pen as a gift. Sailor pens feature exquisite details and exceptional craftsmanship.
Taccia is one of the newer Japanese pen companies, launched just under 20 years ago. Shu-Jen Lin, a former fashion designer, founded the Taccia Pen Company with the goal of creating elegant, high-quality fountain pens and affordable prices. The pens and inks are made in Japan and sold throughout the world.
Tomoe River is one of the most popular brands of writing paper. It has a smooth surface that is perfect for a wide range of writing instruments, especially fountain pens.
The Tomoegawa Paper Company was founded in 1914 in Japan. The company was named for a nearby river. The name was eventually shortened to “Tomoe River”. In 2021, the Sanzen Paper Company purchased the Tomoe River brand.
Finding the best Japanese pen is not easy, especially with the variety of options available from Japanese pen brands. Remember to think about how you intend to use the writing instrument to select the pen best suited for the task.
Along with Japanese pens, you can find high-quality options from Italian companies, such as Visconti, and American companies, such as Parker.
Start browsing Japanese-made pens and other options on Truphae for the best selection and prices.
Japanese Pen Brands
We are thrilled to provide you with these Japanese made pen brands.