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Midori MD A5 Ruled Notebook

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This is a beautiful notebook from Midori, a very well-known high end stationery company in Japan. Itoya in Ginza has a large center display devoted to Midori products.

It has 176 pages (88 sheets) divided into 11 signatures, each stitched and bound into a book that stays flat when opened. The spine's cheesecloth reinforcement tape is exposed as a statement of fine craftsmanship. The paperboard cover is sturdy, thick and of the highest quality, debossed with the MD logo, and wrapped in a glassine sheet reminiscent of delicate rice paper.

The MD (“Midori Diary") paper was developed in the 1960s, and is very resistant to feathering and bleeding - making it a good choice for fountain pens, and of course ball points and gels. The paper is thin, allowing the notebook to be only 1cm thick.  Each page has top and bottom margins and 27 soft gray lines spaced 7mm apart. There is also a bold center line that effectively divides the opened book into quadrants.

Overall, this is very simple, well-executed design employing pure, natural colors and robust materials, perfectly capturing the Japanese aesthetic. If there were an Academy Award for beautiful notebooks, this one would surely be a nominee.

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Product Reviews

  1. MD is simple but exceptional 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 24th Oct 2015

    This is a very high quality notebook with exceptional paper. Very simple presentation, excellent binding so lays flat for writing, paper very good with fountain pens. I rank this up there with Tomoe River Paper (in the Seven Seas).

  2. Clean and well executed notebook 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 20th Sep 2013

    The product description is spot on. And it's almost intimidating to write in at first, as the whole notebook is so finely made; but it looks like it should stand up to some abuse. The paper has a bit more cream color than apparent in the photos, and is very smooth. I've seen no bleed-through or feathering with any inks, though I only use western-fine nibs. Likewise, it doesn't leave noticeable impressions when writing in pencil, and the paper is thick enough to erase aggressively without having to worry about tearing pages in the process.

    Overall, it's not a particularly intriguing notebook, which is the only reason it has 4 stars, and not 5. But the quality materials and construction make it stand out among similar noitebook/journal lines, and definitely worth buying.