Wonderful FudePen 筆ペン (Brush Pens)

When I was thinking about another cultural item to introduce to the world, one thing came to my mind! It is fudepen 筆ペン, a Japanese brush pen! Of course, Japanese calligraphy and brushes are well known to be amazing, but fudepen especially fits the modern times we live in in my opinion. So today, let me introduce this wonderful fudepen.

When we Japanese enter elementary school, we learn Japanese calligraphy in the school curriculum. And when I was a child, Syuji 習字,  a lesson in Japanese calligraphy outside school, was very common, and most of my friends were learning it. Japanese characters include kanji, hiragana, and katakana, and  many other different styles of writing that are unique:  kaisho 楷書 (standard), gyousho 行書 (running), and sousho 草書 (cursive). When you write them with a brush, they somehow look even more beautiful than writing them with a pen.

These three Kanji are the same Kanji “龍:dragon” written with three different ways.

However, writing with a traditional brush takes a lot of work both with preparation and cleanup. Moreover, the lack of confidence to write beautifully may keep you more and more away from writing with a brush. Wait a minute… We Japanese have got a fudepen, haven’t we? As long as there is something called a brush pen, this hassle will be solved in an instant. The fudepen is a wonderful tool that allows you to write beautiful calligraphy-like letters a lot more easily than with traditional brushes. Fude means brush, and fudepen is designed to be handy with an ink cartridge just like fountain pens. It retains the texture and feeling of the traditional calligraphy brush.

As mentioned earlier, opportunities to write with a brush are really rare these days. On the other hand, these characters drawn with a brush are very attractive, not only to people from overseas, but also to Japanese people. I was given the opportunity to write brush strokes by chance. Since then, I have used brush pens as much as pencils and pens in my daily life. Japanese brush pens are wonderful. There are a wide variety of items that are designed to be easy to use and come in a wide range of colors, making it easy to draw with them.

My favorite fudepen

Japanese fudepen is hands down the best quality. In Japan, there are various calligraphy with painting hobbies such as etegami (picture letters) and haiga (haiku painting), which is the picture written beside haiku. I have been learning the art of onoresho, which is one of the more fun and free-style types of Japanese calligraphy. I find it fascinating to write it with a brush pen while having more fun. My favorite brands are:  Onoresyo’s brush pen, Pentel’s one, Kuretake’s one, and Akashiya’s. You can buy them except the Onoresyo one at stationery shops.

◎Brush tip

Unlike normal pens and pencils, the feeling of writing will completely change depending on the specific brush tip.     

  • Urethan
    There are two types of urethane. They are hard and soft.
     Hard: Writes like a sign pen, which in Japanese is a felt-tipped pen designed for writing, and produces a slight handwriting like a brush.
     Soft: The tip of the brush is soft, so it can produce different thicknesses depending on how much force is applied.
  • Brush type
    The calligraphy-brush type is a brush pen that is as close as a writing brush. Pentel’s brush-type brush pens are the only ones in the world that are made of nylon fiber, making them as close as a brush.

If you want to enjoy brush-like characters, the brush type is more interesting.


There are many types of brush color pens. You can paint pictures while enjoying the touch of the brush. Some of them can be drawn like watercolors, and it is very fun to have a different atmosphere from that of drawing letters with color pens. Enjoy drawing letters just as you would draw pictures. This is a magic pen that can make your feelings come true! I am having a lot of fun with it.

I drew these pictures with only the color fudepen.

Effect of writing letters

Now, finally, I would like to focus your attention more on writing. Nowadays, the Internet is widespread, almost every household has a computer, and everyone has a smartphone. So letters are more typed, not hand-written, and if you type one letter on your device, other suggestions will appear automatically. Except for kids and young students, people don’t even write with a pen anymore, much less be in the habit of writing with a brush. As a result, we often forget kanji characters and words and misspell them. So I wonder if human functionality is declining. Therefore, I would like to share several advantages of hand-writing letters with you all.

  1. Writing is more effective for learning because it is more memorable.
  2. Writing leads to fingertip movement. This stimulates and activates the brain, which leads to better concentration.
  3. By concentrating on the writing process, you are able to get away from stress at that time. Putting your feelings and thoughts down on paper can help you calm down.
  4. You can look at your feelings, thoughts, and facts objectively, which broadens your perspective.
  5. Handwritten letters convey your heart to the other person.

What do you think? You can enjoy the popular brush letters by yourself? Isn’t it exciting?
If you come to Japan, I hope you try a fudepen.
These days, it feels so special to receive a handwritten letter or card from someone, doesn’t it? And a fudepen will be a perfect tool when writing these cards and letters. Let’s jump in and enjoy drawing letters and pictures with fudepen

Play with letters as if you were painting a picture

Thank you for reading my article to the end. See you next time.

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