Trip to TAKEO, Tokyo
TAKEO was founded in 1899. Their store carries approximately 300 brands, with 9,000-ish specific types of paper. You have to love a store that has a “mission for paper“:
Paper has long played an important role in our society and economy, always present in our surroundings like air or water. As well as its function as a recording medium, paper is appreciated as a beautiful material that adorns and enriches our daily lives with its presence.
Comparing paper to air and water…yes.
The store is a serious vision in white. I felt like I should have taken a shower before entering.
The interior is just so darn shiny! The walls were lined with numbered drawers, each containing a different paper.
I wanted to open all of the drawers and look inside them. I’m pretty sure that they would have thrown me out of the store if I did that. Maybe I should have tried doing it after I completed my purchase. Too late now.
Thanks to Jill for translating this signage for me. I was wondering about it.
Search by Brand –>
Search by Color and Texture –>
Search by Use (Purpose) –>
Look – it’s another library of sample books! If this set reminds you of the one I saw at Itoya, that’s because in 2015, TAKEO collaborated with Itoya in designing the 7th floor of their Ginza store. The sample books at Itoya are the same as the ones at TAKEO (although the wood bookshelf at Itoya is way cooler).
TAKEO’s website describes the arrangement of their paper samples as being done by “color gradation”. I’d call it “arrangement by rainbow”.
When you find a paper you like, you take the sample card up to the sales counter and a clerk will retrieve your papers for you. The back of each card offers details about the specific paper.
So yeah, I bought some paper there. All papers are available to purchase by the sheet in the A4 size (210 mm x 297 mm, approximately 8.25″ x 11.82″).
In my post about Itoya, I mentioned how the pattern of the three papers that follow were known as “dotted washi” when I worked at Paper Source in the mid-nineties. I have since discovered that it’s actually called Takeo Tamashiki Arare and it’s manufactured at TAKEO’s own mill in Japan.
I’ve always thought that the paper’s dotted pattern was printed, but it’s not – it’s a watermark. During the papermaking process, a traditional Japanese technique called Sukashi is used, during which designs on the paper mold create areas of pulp that are thinner than the rest of the sheet.
All of these papers are grain long.
It’s hard to tell from this image, but the polka dots on the orange paper are smaller than the ones on the previous two sheets.
Upon examining the next two papers, I decided that the pattern is also a watermark and not printed. Both sheets are grain long.
I had a hard time getting decent pictures of the next three papers (grr…). I have no idea how the iridescent pattern is created. On their own, the colors seem really pale, but you can see how they relate to each other in the group shot. All three sheets are grain long.
I’m pretty sure that the next sheet is made of two layers of pulp and the fibers look like hemp. It’s quite a lovely sheet of paper. Like the other papers, this sheet is grain long.
The last sheet of paper is known as Tairei and sadly, it’s another one I couldn’t quite capture in a photo. The fibers are silver and the surface of the paper has an overall sparkle to it. The sheet is grain long.
If you ever visit Tokyo, you must go to TAKEO. I’m afraid I have to insist. Here’s how to get there:
- Address: 3-18-3 Kanda Nishiki-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo (Google Map)
- Phone: 03-3292-3669
- Public Transportation: 8 minute walk from the Hanzomon Line/Toei Mita Line/Toei Shinjuku Line: Jinbocho Station (exit A9); 8 minute walk from the Tozai Line: Takebashi Station (exit 3B/KKR exit); 8 minute walk from the Chiyoda Line: Shinochanomizu Station/Toei Shinjuku Line: Ogawamachi Station (exit B7); 15 minute walk from the JR Chuo Line/Sobu Line: Ochanomizu Station (Ochanomizubashi exit)
If you can’t get there any time soon, check out the Google Map for TAKEO. On the bottom left-hand side of the screen, you’ll see three photos of the store. If you click on one of them, you can get a 360 degree view of the interior.
Total sheets of paper purchased to date: 20