Wancher Visits Bungo-Takada Schools | Introducing Fountain Pens to the Next Generation

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There was a time when learning how to use a fountain pen was mandatory in every school. In fact, there were years or even decades where the fountain pen was the de facto writing instrument across the world. However, in the 21st Century, there are many people who can graduate from University without ever having to touch a fountain pen. In an effort to rectify this, we have been making annual visits to the local elementary and middle schools in rural Japan and giving the students a chance to use a glass pen and a fountain pen. Thanks to Bungo-Takada city’s Board of Education, we have been able to introduce these writing instruments to the next generation.


Most recently, we were led by CEO and Founder Taizo Okagaki in demonstrations at various schools on the origins of the glass pen and fountain pen, where students with ages ranging from 11-14 years old received firsthand instruction on the use of these storied writing instruments.

Many of the students, accustomed to digital interfaces and sleek gadgets, marveled at the elegance and simplicity of these writing instruments. It was a moment of connection between generations, bridging the gap between the analog past and the digital present.



However, our interactions didn't end with the demonstration. We found ourselves immersed in discussions with teachers, parents, and local community members, exchanging insights on education, values, and societal structures. For many of us, our school experiences in their native countries were vastly different from that of a normal Japanese school, and many members were shocked to discover these differences during the visits. One team member - Adriel of Wancher Watch - expressed his surprise that in one of the schools, all of the students were provided with a meal carefully designed by a nutritionist for their health, and that each meal was completely free. Another member, Jian, was surprised that the students of the Bungo-Takada schools were well behaved and organized, which was the exact opposite of his experience as a child in Europe. 

Considering the vastly different backgrounds between our team and the students, it was surprising that there was one clear commonality: the awe of seeing and using a glass pen for the first time. It was interesting for us to see that even in this day and age, the students appreciated the novelty of a glass pen, just like our first experiences with glass pens after joining Wancher. A student exclaimed in surprise when all it took was one dip of the glass nib into the ink bottle to be able to write. After we explained that some records indicate that glass pens originated in Japan, even more of the students seemed to be interested in writing with a glass pen again in the future. 

Once the students grew accustomed to the glass pens, we gifted each student their very own fountain pen, and taught them the difference between a ballpoint pen and a fountain pen. Additionally, we explained that Japanese fountain pens are a coveted product all around the world, which seemed to invigorate the students to learn more about fountain pens and glass pens. 

The use of fountain pens may no longer be as widespread as it used to be, yet it was touching to see that even a generation of children more accustomed to typing can still appreciate the art of fountain pens and glass pens. 


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