This is the 88 gsm (about 24lb) version of the venerable Mitsubishi Bank Paper. The matching envelopes are 66 gsm.
Mitsubishi Bank Paper is an amazing letter-writing paper with just a touch of "madness" to make it stand out from other Japanese papers. Having said that:
This is one of those projects that didn't quite turn out the way we expected - but then again, there is nothing really "wrong" with the product itself, and the paper is still of very high quality, so we are offering it here at a substantial discount (in other words, we are losing money on it). This is the exact same paper as the excellent "Mitsubishi Bank Paper", and if purchased from Life Co., a set like this would cost around $35-40...a similar pad from Life, with 100 sheets, costs about $15 by itself, BEFORE shipping from Japan. So this is indeed a very low price for 100 sheets and 50 matching envelopes!
Basically, our printer here in the US didn't pad the paper according to our spec - for example, we requested a very stiff 50-point binder's board for the backing, but instead we got a 50-point notepad board, which is more common, but also not as stiff as binder's board. We also requested glue-top adhesive, which they did, but they also applied a little glue on the sides, to give it extra strength. That move made sense to the printer, but for us, it means that instead of tearing off a sheet from left to right, or right to left, as you would a legal pad, we have to pull straight up so as not to tear the corners (easy to do, but a minor inconvenience that we didn't want to pass on).
As for the matching #9 envelopes, they turned out great - but in the future, we may go to a different size - either larger (#10), or smaller (#6-3/4 or 7).
So, all of these issues add up to us offering this great letter set at a discount so that we can re-think the project.
Here is a description of our original inspiration for this set:
Examine enough old letters from the 18th-19th century and you will notice the following;
- The paper is a bit "toothy" - not super smooth, but with just enough feedback to allow an engaged writing experience
- The lines on the paper, if there are any, are spaced 9-10mm apart - providing room for cursive ascenders and descenders - and run off the edge of the page (in the old days people used every bit of space available)
- Also if lined, there was a wide top margin (as much as 2-3 inches), allowing space for printing a company image as well as place and date of the letter written
- Paper very often had the mill's watermark
- Letters were written with very good penmanship, utilizing a flexy dip nib and sepia or black ink
We have been searching for this format for a long time, to help re-create the "genuine" writing experience of the 19th century's "Golden Age of Handwriting". Finally, we were able to source, directly from a distributor in Japan, full-size sheets of the venerable Mitsubishi Three Diamonds "Bank" bond paper (a lighter-weight version of the Life Bank Paper that we used to sell), allowing us to incorporate the above qualities into a modern product. And, in fact, the Three Diamonds bond is a much better quality, acid-free paper that simply was not around 150 years ago, and will not yellow over time like the old stuff. It has a warm, transluscent pearl-like texture and a pleasant, snappy-crinkly feel that makes it wonderful to fold and handle.
So, the sum total of the qualities we have imparted into this product are a sort of nod, or tribute, to the letter-writers and paper-makers of long ago.
- Standard US Letter Size, 8.5x11 inches or about 216x279mm
- 100 sheets, glued top
- Paper is watermarked
- Available in both Lined and Plain versions (please select from the drop-down)
- 50 matching envelopes (66gsm)
If you need extra envelopes you can get them here:
Posted by Blackhorse on 28th Mar 2017
First review is spot on. Paper is about the same weight at Rhodia (Clairfontaine) but is softer to the nib...more tooth. So it's like a combo of smooth and toothy. My medium and fine nibs love it. Feels uber luxe. And this set for the price is just plain crazy. I got two. I'm going to get two or even three more if it lasts til payday. Once the patrons out there discover this stuff it'll be gone and I'm thinking a similar set at regular pricing will be three times the cost. Easily. LOVE the paper. What a great find!
Posted by Tara C. on 24th Mar 2017
I'll be ordering another of these sets. Wonderful quality at an incredible price point! If you like the Life stationery sets you will love this. Fantastic paper for letter writing, fountain pen just glides over it. Note that the lined version (the only one available when I purchased) is only lined on one side. This wasn't an issue for me but might be for some people. Paper is creamy off-white.
NOTE: Envelopes are quite thin and unlined, which is different from the regular Life stationery. I appreciate the crisp, crinkly hand, but be aware that if you write on both sides your writing will be visible through the envelope. I've also found that the envelopes are a great match for the Tomoe River bulk paper, and you can buy the envelopes from this set separately as well.
Overall, a wonderful set and you can't beat it at this price.
Posted by Bill (Kansas City, MO) on 6th Jul 2016
I just received TWO sets that I jumped on to order! I have one of the Life pads and fell in love with the paper. Heavy enough and with enough tooth to really feel the nib. Like driving a sports car and feeling the road. So pleased with the sets. I do not have a problem with the way the paper is glued, you just have to be a little careful, and SLOW DOWN a bit when pulling a sheet off. Bottom line, excellent paper. You should get some if you've never used the Mitsubishi before, and get some more if you have used it!
As ALWAYS, the usual impeccable service and product from Nanami.