2013 marked the 100th year that Kokuyo has produced western style notebooks and to celebrate they have released a limited edition notebook called the Century Edition which I picked up in the A5 format. The notebook features 70 sheets of 100g paper with a 6mm rule.
The look of this notebook is exceptional. The black cover is textured to feel like cloth. The combination of the black “cloth” with gold print and diagonal text block pattern (they also do a woven pattern text block version) creates a luxurious retro look.
The the pastedown and free endpaper is made from a single piece of thick red paper.
The luxury ruled ivory “Kokuyo Ledger paper” is designed to be used with fountain pens and is ultra smooth.
It handles fountain ink without any bleeding or showthrough. The dry time is surprisingly fast (for a smooth paper). This isn’t an absorbent paper but I have been using this notebook as a journal and upon review I am not seeing any of the usual smearing I see when compared to my Tomoe River and Rhodia journals.
The Century Edition has tiny little signatures and the binding is so good that I cannot for the life of me find the stitching with the book open. The binding lays quite flat on it’s own and improves with use.
I haven’t been wowed by Kokuyo products in the past but this is the finest notebook I have ever had the pleasure of owning. The cost? 1,000 YEN (about $10 USD)! It’s not expensive and it makes a Midori notebook look like a sloppy first attempt (okay that might be a bit of an exaggeration). I highly recommend the Kokuyo Century Edition notebook. I know I will be buying more in the future.