My friend Cary Yeager - of both Fountain Pen Day and Kenro fame - introduced me to this notebook at a pen show earlier this year. I can’t remember exactly which one, but I believe it was the Arkansas Pen Show in Little Rock. A few weeks later, this sample notebook showed up in the mail from Yoseka Stationery, and I have to apologize for how long it’s taken me to do a review, especially since this is such an interesting product. Cary explained to me that the owners of Yoseka Stationery had just opened a brick-and-mortar shop in Sunnyside, Queens, and had designed this notebook from scratch after sourcing the paper from Taiwan.
You can read the full description here on the Yoseka website, but in short this notebook contains 85gsm “KBU2” paper from Conifer, a Taiwanese company that has been around since 1955 and apparently experiments quite a bit with different paper properties. Yoseka chose this particular paper because “it encourages a quick dry and it perfectly reflects the sheen of the pen ink with minimal bleeding.” Since the paper is fairly absorbent, it does dry quickly, with no smearing once the ink is dry - something those who love “sheeny” inks will appreciate since many of those tend to smear even days later.
The design of the notebook itself merits some discussion. Yoseka uses a plain “cement grey cardboard hardcover”, which reminds me of the thick chipboard covers used on the Doane Paper notebooks, as well as a “naked binding” that shows off the stitching and gluing. Yoseka describes the cover and binding as “durable,” but that characterization will, of course, depend on how hard you use your notebooks. Fans of minimal design will like the look, and the binding allows the notebook to lay completely flat.
Takeaways and Where to Buy
Yoseka Stationery makes a nice notebook featuring a simple design and durable construction. This notebook also contains a lot of paper, which should handle most fountain pen inks relatively well and show off any inks that sheen. I’d offer a note of caution for those who anticipate writing on both sides of the page with very wet nibs and inks, as you might experience a touch of “pinpoint” bleedthrough (pictured above). Otherwise, this notebook should meet most people’s needs, and generally has been well-received by fountain pen users.
You can purchase the Yoseka Notebook directly from Yoseka Stationery in Queens, New York, either via their online store or in person at their brick-and-mortar location in Sunnyside. It’s reasonably priced at $20, and I definitely plan to make a visit when I’m in New York City next month (along with visits to my other favorite NYC stationery shops)!
Disclaimer: The notebook featured in this review was sent to me free of charge by Yoseka Stationery. Many thanks to them for making this review possible!