It's hard to believe that Tomoe River paper is seemingly everywhere these days, given how difficult it was to import/locate just a few years ago. If you're unfamiliar with Tomoe River, it's some of the best paper for fountain pen users out there, and certainly the most unique. Despite its light weight and overall thinness, Tomoe River paper will not bleed or feather except in the most extreme circumstances, and Tomoe River notebooks can contain hundreds of sheets of paper while remaining compact.
The most recent Tomoe River notebook that I've had the opportunity to review comes via the team at Musubi, located in SIngapore. Musubi sells hand-sewn journals and diaries that contain 200 sheets of unlined Tomoe River Paper and are wrapped in unique Japanese fabrics. Notably, Musubi employs disabled artisans, and per their website, operates in partnership with an organization dedicated to finding employment opportunities for individuals with physical disabilities.
Musubi was kind enough to send me an A5 clothbound notebook in the Enji ("Autumn Red") color scheme, featuring the Seigaiha ("Wave") pattern. It's a beautiful notebook. The cloth is soft, the binding appears to be high quality, and the notebook lays completely flat, making it easy to use the entire page. The Tomoe River paper, of course, is exceptional, and Musubi has used a heavier ivory laid paper for the endsheets. The soft clothbound cover might not hold up to the rigors of daily carry, but this would be an excellent journal to keep at your desk or bedside.
Where to Purchase
Musubi A5 journals can be purchased directly from Musubi's online store, and come in a variety of colors in addition to the red featured here, including Midori ("Matcha Green") and Kon ("Navy Blue"). You can also choose from either the Seigaiha ("Wave") pattern, the Tonbo ("Dragonfly") pattern, or a variety of seasonal prints, including rabbits, owls, and sakura ("Cherry Blossoms"). Diaries are handmade to order, and require a lead time of 2-3 weeks. They are also not inexpensive, ranging from $67 US for the basic pattern to $96 for more exotic fabrics, but you're paying a premium for craftsmanship. Many thanks to Musubi for providing me with the opportunity to review this unique item.
Disclaimer: Musubi sent me this journal free of charge for review purposes. I was not otherwise compensated for this review.