If ever there was an "iconic" notebook of Japan, the Tsubame Note would be it. Its smooth laid-finish paper, soft gray cover flecked with money-paper-like threads, black spine and yellow thumb tape no doubt bring back warm memories to every student that attended college in Japan since the 1940s. In fact, it is still widely in use and has hardly changed in 60 years; basically, it is to Japan what the "composition notebook" is to the United States, except that it comes in multiple page counts, patterns and sizes...and has superior quality paper.
It is so ubiquitous that the are frequently featured in Japanese "goods" magazines, in movies, on TV and basically everywhere.
This listing is for the "B5" size, which measures approximately 7x10 inches....each varies slightly depending on the page count, so here are the exact dimensions:
40 sheets, 80 pages - 178x252mm (5mm thick), single signature
50 sheets, 100 pages - 178x252mm (6mm thick), single signature
100 sheets, 200 pages - 178x247mm (11mm thick), four signatures
All notebooks have lines spaced 7.5mm apart.
Please note that despite being high quality, these are also a great value for the student or anyone else that cares about writing on great paper. In fact, we feel they are probably the cheapest notebooks around, inch for inch.
Posted by David on 3rd Apr 2017
I got my order of the the B5 (my favorite size...7"x10") Tsubame University Notebooks in. In a word...SWEET. I tried to out with my Lamy Logo medium nib and Lamy Black ink.
There's a finish that's termed a "laid" finish. Definition I looked up..."a subtle embossed texture with a crosshatch pattern that is reminiscent of a fine linen table cloth. Paper with a linen finish is often used for personal stationery, business letterhead, or fine restaurant menus …". That's what is going on with this paper.
Thinking about it, this paper and the overall notebook is SO Japanese. The presentation, the feel, is that of a well used everyday item. But the quality of the components is crazy good. The stiff grey paper cover with the threads in it...looking rather like the paper they print money on. The super quality and bank vault secure binding method of the stitched, glued and cloth taped combo. The yellow thumb tape. The laid bond feel and watermarking of the paper...there is very likely a Japanese word or phrase that represents this design ethic.
And BTW...the paper is smooth but has quite a lot of tooth. It's very different from the Clairfontaine/Rhodia highly polished super smooth feel when writing on it. Both are wonderful, but different.
I'm very pleased to have found these. I truly love things that give the inpression that they were made as well as possible by someone who really cared. That's what I get from these.
Posted by Catherine on 7th Dec 2014
I purchased this to use as a journal, not being sure which option I would prefer. This made a perfect choice. The paper is smooth and my fountain pen flows. When journaling I don't want to think about the actual process of writing - which pen, which ink, etc. - and this notebook fits my parameters perfectly. Very happy with my purchases.