Aside from a 10km walk, clearing out our wardrobes, doing laundry and watching the finale of ‘Man in the High Castle’, I spent much of yesterday watching unboxing videos on YouTube.
And I have to say it was good for the soul.
For the uninitiated, unboxing videos are (generally) amateur videos of excited people opening packages they’ve been wait for. I think most people might associate them with with technology and gadgets (for there are many!) but I zoned in on people opening their long-awaiting Japanese stationary packages and it was a delight.
There’s little as enjoyable as hearing someone gasp with joy as they pick up a kawaii notebook or stickers that have come all the way from Japan. The video quality is often middling and the sound poor, but the experience is what matters.
Many of the ones I watched featured American women opening packages from Hobonichi, who very smartly release a new set of notebook covers each season, thus driving up their collectability.
And that’s an interesting point. The vast majority of the Japanese stationary videos feature women. It either doesn’t appear to be something that men are interested in, or if they are, they don’t record it for the world to see.
I’d love to be proved wrong though, so if any of my readers can point me in the direction of blogs or YouTube channels about Japanese paper run by men, I’ll definitely check them out.
I love good quality stationery and this past year has seen me dabble in a ‘bullet journal’ – though lockdown has seen this trail off considerably. I own far too many notebooks to be healthy and have to keep my hands in my pockets when we’re in Tokyo shops that sell paper of any kind.
I’ve got quite a few Traveler’s Notebooks that have seen action on our journeys, the Japan-related one full of ink stamps from museums, train stations and other venues that offer a free physical momento of your visit.
I’ve zoned in on the stationary videos unintentionally, but realised quite quickly that its a vicarious thing. I miss writing in a journal, so I’m going to re-start the practice. I’ve been keeping notes on lockdown life electronically, both here and in an app on my phone. But physical journaling is really enjoyable and relaxing, so from this evening I’ll start writing again.
Thank you, YouTube. And thank you to all the positive, excited creators that share their love of Japanese paper out there for me to enjoy.