2 Types of Japanese Markers to Bring Out Your Inner Artist

  • Japanese markers are the bomb! Try a few out, and you will agree. Of course, you can get a variety of brands anywhere from 100 yen shops to high-end stationary shops. However, the basic brands used by Japanese children and adults alike will bring you joy and relaxation!

    Here are the 2 major brands, both with unique characteristics.

    Posca Markers (By Uni Mitsubishi)

    Posca is a water based marker incredibly popular in Japan and abroad.

    The markers come in a variety of widths ( 0.7 mm to 15 mm) and colours and can write on a variety of surfaces from paper to plastic or glass. The main advantage of these markers is that they are quick drying and don’t bleed through paper. After drying, they can color over each other very clearly, due to the ink drying as a powdery substance. They are great for signs that need to be noticed, or art that you want to be sure will stick out.

    Alternatively, you can lighten the colours before they dry with water, creating amazing watercolour pictures.

    Prices start at about 1,500 yen for a standard pack of 12.


    Once dry, they are water resistant, and when coated or varnished, are basically water or bleed proof.

    You can buy these easily online, at www.amazon.co.jp, or in most stationary, department, or discount shops in Japan.

    Playcolor2 (By Tombow)

    Tombow Playcolor2 come with a wide end (1.2 mm) and a thin end (0.40 mm). They are also water based and offer rich and thick color for art and marking.

    The ink, however, is very different from that of Posca in that it is more like standard ink, can bleed easily, and really can’t be overwritten by another color. However, the markers are great for drawings and doodles. The rich colours bring out your ideas well, and the switchable thin and thick ends make for easy colour control and continuity.

    Prices start at about 900 Yen for a standard pack of 12. Like Posca, they can be found at most any shop that sells stationary, as they are standard equipment for kids and adults alike in Japan.

    If you find yourself in Japan, and in need of a burst of color, why not give them a try? Bring a few back for your friends while you are at it.

    Happy coloring!