“Part 1” is the entry about Hobonichi Techo obsession.
My more modern version of journaling began in 2009 or so when I saw that a friend recorded basic events that happened during her day on her wall calendar. I opened a file on my computer and named it “Daily Short Diary.” Each day, before I went to sleep, I would write down basic events that happened, not usually bothering to use complete sentences.
Generally speaking, I recommend this tactic to everyone. It’s easy to write down things like
“Met [name of new person]. Went to meeting for church. Worked out.”
See? Not harsh at all.
Writing things out in complete sentences when simple facts are being documented isn’t necessarily conducive, feasible, or helpful for everyone.
This eventually evolved into an idea I had: why not boost my Japanese skills by writing down my “daily facts” in Japanese? This began a sort of quest for me.
Around the same time, my husband bought me a two-year monthly planner so I could track my headaches and my mood swings to see if there was a pattern.
Then I began to explore the world of planners and somehow stumbled upon a blog about the Art of Japanese Schedule Booking or something to that effect. My mind was blown- I had no idea that scheduling could be so adorable and so much fun! This resulted in my obtaining a Rilakkuma Schedule Diary for the year 2014.
Rilakkuma is a cute little bear from a company called San-X. While it may be blasphemous to say this, San-X almost makes cuter characters than Sanrio, the company that owns Hello Kitty!
Anyway, Rilakkuma’s name is a combination of the Japanese pronunciation of “relax” and the word for “bear.” The Japanese pronunciation sounds like “rirakkusu” or “rilakkusu” and the word for bear is “kuma.” So “rilakku-ma” makes him “Relax Bear.”
I ended up using the Rilakkuma schedule diary as mainly a scheduling book, but I also began to stuff memorabilia in the protective pockets. The size was great- something like a very slim A5, which is probably not technically A5, but still- but the inner design wasn’t exactly the best because it was set up to schedule in a whole family’s daily routines. That unfortunately make the daily routine slot for each individual teeny-tiny.
Usually these schedule books are loaded with all kinds of “extras” that we don’t get in the USA; there are places to put lists of gifts that one gives or receives, birthdays, a place to draw one’s “monthly goals” and so on. This is what really makes the Japanese version unique- it goes beyond the basic idea and adds touches that I would never think of and that many Americans might see as superfluous.
For our culture to be so interested in excess, we certainly eschew it where it counts sometimes.
I happened upon a Molang Diary sometime that summer. Molang’s a cute bunny rabbit from Korea; look him up. He’s the cutest thing EVER!
I quickly realized that the Molang Diary wasn’t just a schedule book but would be more like a diary, and as cute as it was, I opted out of buying it.
But my husband got it for me for Christmas, where I journaled in it faithfully until…
The Diary Obsession bit again, and I began researching Filofax and Hobonichi Techo as these were what people mostly talked about.
I had the kid’s version of the Filofax when I was in 3rd grade, the “Fun Fax” organizer system, and…I LOVED it. Honestly, as an adult, I can see that it wasn’t that great, but at that age I couldn’t get enough.
But then I discovered that the Hobonichi Techo was created by Shigesato Itoi, and that rest is history. My poor Molang Diary became neglected with only four or so months actually completed in it.
In some ways, I wish I could design my own Hobonichi Techo book to my specifications, but that will probably never happen, and I’m okay with finding ways to use this great tool as-is.
How about you? Are you journaling?