• Stockholm Stockholm
    5 year resident, to guide around the local wonders
  • French Polynesia French Polynesia
    6 islands in the South Seas
  • some image Tokyo Tour
    1-day walk around the best spots
  • Japanese Wedding Japanese Wedding
    The dark side of the rising sun
  • Skyline Hong Kong
    Skylines, bar streets, markets & islands
  • some image Fashion shopping in Tokyo
    The best souvenir of Japan is not omiyage
  • Sydney Opera Australia
    Sydney's NYE, Gold Coast & Great Barrier Reef
  • Gecko Hawaii
    Aloha nature wonders
  • Yakushima Yakushima
    Hiking the Princess Mononoke Forest
  • Ishigaki Lighthouse Ishigaki
    Okinawa's shades of blue
  • Yuki Matsuri Hokkaido
    Powder Snow Festival
  • Daikanyama Daikanyama
    Tokyo's SoHo
  • Cosplayer Comiket
    The Biggest Cosplay Event
  • Cherry Tree Blossom Hanami (花見)
    Sakura by the skyscrapers
  • Hiroshima bomb time Hiroshima
    The Bomb & Miyajima
  • top of mount fuji guide to climb Japan
    Top of Mt.Fuji
  • Kyoto & Nara Nara & Kyoto
    Ciervos nadando en lagos de roca
  • Formentera House Formentera
    Mediterranean Sun

29.9.12

Japanese Eraser History

cute japanese eraser
Dambo serving some tendon (天丼), ikura and hotdog.

cute japanese eraser sushi
Wait… One can mount it?

cute japanese eraser ice-cream
…and the desert too?

En Japón, algo tan básico como las gomas de borrar, se convierte en una experiencia refinada, digna de regalar envuelta en celofán. Un paseo por la web del Museo de las Gomas de Borrar revela la apabullante variedad, pero… Por qué?

Todos los productos geniales vienen de un entrepreneur con ganas de romper con lo establecido y crear un nuevo segmento de mercado con el que recoger un poco de cash. La historia tras las gomas, es algo muy similar.

Hoy por hoy, sólo hay 2 productores oficiales de gomas 3D en Japón: Zensinsyoji e Iwako. Dos empleados que en 1968 se quedaron sin trabajo y decidieron montar su propio negocio de papelería. Empezaron vendiendo cargas de boli a las distribuidoras, pero con los años 80 y el gusto por cosas kawaii como Hello Kitti, marcó el comienzo de la producción de gomas 3D a las afueras de Tokyo, donde ambas empresas tienen su sede.

Sufrieron lo suyo con la invasión de las multinacionales que terminan cerrando al pequeño comercio, pero sobrevivieron… Para saborear el éxito a escala Global a través de las ventas por Internet (en los años más recientes).

Supongo que son un souvenir perfecto (mucho más barato que los modelos de comida en cera) para grandes y pequeños: helados, vegetalesdulces franceses

Compra Online : 
Iwako
Zensinsyoji

There are only 2 factories in Japan making 3D Japanese erasers, one is Zensinsyoji, the other factory is Iwako. Both factories are located fairly close to each others outside of Tokyo city limit.   

Both owners of Zensinsyoji and Iwako were salesmen at a Japanese stationery company in 1950s. But it closed down, so they got fired and started their own stationery factories in 1968. So they made stationery and parts for other big Japanese stationery companies, such as pen bodies and parts.

The 1980s kicked off the development of 3D erasers. At the early stage in more simple forms, the first three dimensional kawaii erasers but, without more sophisticated puzzle parts, which gradually developed into high quality and more complicated 3D puzzle erasers.

These erasers started to attract collectors worldwide in the 1990s. The problem was that they were extremely hard to find, as the sale points outside Japan were limited. Neither Iwako nor Zensinyoji cashed much that popularity. As if that wasn't enough, the invasion of chain stores in Japan in the late 1990s closed down most independent stationery boutiques in Japan.

Without internet sales, both companies had a hard time finding outlets to sell their erasers, they had very little export market outside of Japan.

The breakthrough came in 2006 in the United States, when their U.S. distributor BC USA started to distribute their erasers in wider channels. Internet became common market place too. So BC USA refocused the erasers to the Western market, sold to US distributors and BC USA built websites reaching millions of customers. Eventually, online sales proved the original designs to be popular outside Japan too.

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