Are you a bunboger?

Good morning everyone,

It's supposed to rain today (in fact, they said it'd be raining already), but it isn't at the moment. Hopefully it'll start after I get to work (or finish before I leave home). The afternoon should clear up and then we can expect warm sunny weather for Monday and Tuesday-the last two days of March. After that, they are calling for rain on April 1st, April 2nd, April 3rd, April 4th...has rainy season started already?! Ha ha! It'll still be much warmer than usual-highs this time of year are around 16C or 17C, but we can expect highs all week to be above 20C! With any luck, the weatherman will be wrong about the rain...

At a time when our lives are filled with high-tech digital equipment, it's somewhat refreshing to hear that there's been a surge in aficionados of office supplies and low-tech gadgets. Some of these people call themselves "bunbogers," as in, people who love bunbogu (school/office supplies)-like the person who bought this funky Gundam stamp and holder. (I want one!)
Gundam name stamp stand, 1,458 yen from Sanby Co.

I love these kind of cool stationery items! But I kind of stopped buying them, because I figured it was a bit childish. Apparently, I'm not alone. There's  a group of such stationery fans who meet at a café over breakfast to discuss their latest finds. The nine men and women, in their 20s and 40s, belong an office supply enthusiasts' community called "Bunbogu Choshoku-kai" (office supplies breakfast club).

Leaf Memo, which curls up when held in one's hand. 20 sheets for 486 yen from Paperable.

They find cool office supplies like this note paper that looks like a leaf...pretty boring, right!? No way! It curls up in your hand, just like a drying leaf! How neat is that? I always love these kind of things, because they make great conversation pieces.

Bunbogers work in a wide variety of fields, including IT, securities, publishing and television production. Most of them spend their days surrounded by digital equipment, and they enjoy the low-tech stationery as a kind of escape.

Everything from a fountain pen equipped with a level gauge and ruler, to a compass cutter that cuts paper into circles, and a diagonal pen holder crowd the table.

Compass Cutter, which cuts paper into circles, 594 yen from Olfa Corp.

This compass that not only draws circles, but also cuts them, would have been great to have when I was a student!

Apparently there are more of us bunbogers than I though-companies have started to notice and you can find books and magazines showing off the latest in funky office supplies (not just Hello Kitty pens...ha ha!). Even Tokyu Hands is getting in on the office supply boom with a special fair to show off the latest in low-tech things for your work life.

Funnily, the Lehman Shock may have started the boom, as companies cut their office budgets, people started buying their own pens and decided they wanted things that not only worked well, but were also fun to use.

I haven't bought any fun stationery in ages, but now that I know I'm not 'strange' (well, I may be strange, but in other ways...ha ha!), I can buy fun office supplies without feeling like a weirdo!

Have you found any cool things lately?

Have a great day!

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