KOKUYO's Historical Episode

Shikishi-tsuki Shokansen
(Stationery Pad with High Quality Paperboard)

Stationery Pad with High Quality Paperboard

PHOTO : Stationery Pad with High Quality Paperboard

Idea No One Else Thought Of: Add a Quality Print to a Stationery Pad

It is said to have been in the early Taishō era (1912-1925) that, as the use of pen and ink gained popularity in Japan, the stationery pads that we know today—made of flat sheets of machine-made paper—became the established style. KOKUYO began selling its first stationery pads of this kind in 1914. Its first products were simple tablets of around 100 sheets attached to a piece of cardboard. As many manufacturers competed to sell similar products in the following years, KOKUYO's "Shokansen" (literally meaning "letter paper") was released in 1918 and became a big hit. The reasons behind its success can be attributed to the originality and ingenuity that KOKUYO is often known for. For example, just as KOKUYO had for its accounting ledger papers, it developed a paper specifically for its stationery pads. The goals were to improve paper quality in order to offer greater convenience for its users, and to provide a stable supply of products. Although it was considered unprofitable to make paper specifically for stationery pads, KOKUYO succeeded in gaining the cooperation of a paper manufacturer that possessed the latest facilities and technologies at the time to develop a type of paper for stationery pads called "3K binsenshi (3K stationery paper)." Another example of KOKUYO's ingenuity was to introduce a stationery pad that came with a shikishi, or high quality paperboard. One of the most prevalent styles of stationery at the time that many companies competed to launch into the market was the "designer stationery," which came with images of popular artwork on the cover. By contrast, KOKUYO printed the cover using a simple, two-color letterpress process, knowing that it would be thrown out as soon as the inside sheets were used up, and added a fancy paperboard that could be detached and saved. On these paperboards were images created by big time artists that KOKUYO went to the trouble of printing with an offset process using over ten colors to ensure faithful reproduction.

"Stationery pad with high quality paperboard" that revolutionized the common conception of stationery paper at the time (commercialized in 1932).

List of KOKUYO’s Historical Accounts

  • Cover
  • Japanese-style account ledger
  • Western-style account ledgers
  • Stationery pad with high quality paperboard
  • bielomatik
  • From paper to metal
  • Company's building-wide office showrooms
  • Campus Note
  • Survey Field Notebook
  • Museum display cases
  • Goods distribution
  • Distribution and sales network
  • Furniture production
  • Universal design
  • Company name and trademark
  • KOKUYO's own steel product plant
  • ECIFFO
  • Eco tube file
  • Dot liner
  • Our Eco-X Mark initiative
  • Testament kits
  • Harinacs
  • Towards Asia
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