2010, the year of the Tiger!

In Japan, we have a custom to send new year cards to friends and acquaintances.
We call the cards, "Nengajyo."

The card is more popular than winter's greeting cards here in Japan.

Since it is a tiger's year in Chinese astrology,
we made some lovely tiger cards.
These were our best selling cards in December.

The design is letterpressed. It looks a real tiger?

They look a little bit weak...! But adorable!

Best wishes for the coming new year for you all!!

Rumi & Maki


Il Buon Tempo

2009 is coming to a close, and 2010 is just around the corner!

One of our big events in 2009 was the collaboration with an Italian publishing company,

"Il Buon Tempo."

Il Buon Tempo is a small publisher which are owned by an Italian artist,
Mr. Lucio Passerini.

He uses traditional letter press machines and publishes simple and beautiful books.

Winged Wheel exhibited his 10 art books at our stores from October 30th to November 31st.
Also, we had a talk session event with Mr.Passerini at the opening reception on Oct. 30th.

I was thrilled to hear his art works and his philosophy.

I LOVE his book, which is called, "Alcuni aforismi."
There are very unique sayings/poems on the book.

It's hard to explain these in English, but my favorite saying is like this:
"I always loose my way, but always can find my way."

mi perdo continuamente e mi trovo dovunque.

Maki, from Osaka


Osaka! 2

I would like to add 2 more photos from Osaka trip in last month.
During the business trip, of course I went to our store in Osaka.
Its store name is Winged Wheel Shinsaibashi.
Sinsaibashi is very modern and chic area in Osaka ;)

Inside the store, there are more than 1000 kinds of products specialized in cards, lettersheets, and envelopes. Customers can touch the texture of each product.

I was thrilled to watch the window display of the month because our colleagues are very creative. And they always make me surprize!
The theme is "autum night." How lovely!

Inside the store, my colleagues Maki and Yoko were chatting something.

Ah, maybe a small meeting? :)

They are in the product development division, and produce our lovely products.
Many thanks, girls!!

If you have a chance to visit Osaka, please stop by our store.
Here is our Osaka store information.
Winged Wheel Shinsaibashi (you can check our Tokyo store, too.)

Rumi, from Tokyo



I had an opportunity to visit Osaka as a business trip.
It takes around 2.5 hours from Tokyo by Shinkansen. (do you know? It's a super fast train.)

Then, I took a train to Matsubara city where has our plant.
(It's located on the southern part of Osaka.)
There are more than 20 kinds of envelope making machines and printing machines.

This is a very old letter press machine!

Some of our expert staff can oparate the machine.

When I visited there, he was printing some luxurious invitaions for our collaboration event with an Italian publisher.
For the event, we chose hand made cotton paper by Fabriano, which is very famous paper making company in Italy.

Although itwas just one day trip, I was so glad that I could meet with many colleagues there.
(Many thanks, Maki!)

But, the only thing I forgot was to enjoy Osaka food...!!
I forgot to eat Okonomiyaki... Too bad!

Rumi, from Tokyo


Higanbana, Lycoris flower

I found lycoris flowers on my way to the office.
Then, I realized that I had found them at the same place, just one year ago.
(Wow, one year ago! It's amazing how fast the time goes...!)

It's the season for this flower, lycoris (we say Higanbana) in Japan.
The vivid red color and their lovely petals like ribbons are so impressive.

Series #631 cards are very popular among foreign customers.
We selected Japanese flowers for the series and used traditional colors for each card. (You can find Lycoris design, too!)

I'm glad if you could feel "Japan" from the beautiful cards.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Maki, from Osaka


Autumn workshop in Omotesando

This is our new window display in our Tokyo store.
It's so adorable, right? (The squirrel is holding a letter! And you can see his favorite food, acorn.)

We had a workshop in our store yesterday.
In the workshop, participants could make their own mini correspondence sheets.
This time, all participants were ladies :)

First of all, my colleague Masako talked about the history of paper and envelope.
Then she explained about some etiquette of social stationery.
Since all participants love paper and letters, they could listen carefully about Masako's talk.
(Thanks for your kind attention, ladies!)

After that, seeing our marks & fonts sample books, every guest chose their own mark and a font with favorite one color for her correspondence sheets.
Popular marks were flowers and animals. All guests were so creative so we can't wait to see their personalized sheets.
(We will give their correspondence sheets to them after 2 weeks from now.)

This was the first time to have a workshop in Tokyo store, and we will have it in November next time. The next theme will be about making new year cards!

Our workshop will be held in Japanese, but if you live in Osaka or Tokyo, and would like to join us, please contact us anytime!

Have a lovely week!

Rumi, from Tokyo


Summer's greetings from my island

Hello everyone!
It's getting a little bit cooler day by day.
(I still want hot summer days!)

I went back to my hometown, Goto island during my summer vacation.
Everytime I visit my island, I go to Takahama beach, where is one of my favorite places.
It's really famous for water sports. (Surfing at the beach is awesome!)

I also enjoyed tasty seafood there :)
Although I couldn't stay only 5 days, I really enjoyed my vacation.

When I came back to Tokyo, I do feel that Tokyo time is soooo fast, compare to my island time. Haha!

Today, I wrote a letter to my friend. (The envelope is our series 342, stripes)
Of course, the theme is "blue ocean!"

Have a nice weekend!

Rumi, from Tokyo


Lots of hugs!

Hello everyone! It's Maki from Osaka.

My hometown, Akashi locates on the seaside and it is very famous for good seafood.
Especially, squids and octopuses are special products.

I took a photo of a dried octopus. In this season, we can see a lot of dried octopuses around fisherman's villages.

I often use our octopus card of series 700, which reminds me of my hometown.
So, I really love octopus!

Although I know they have some negative meanings in some countries, it is said that they can hugs you a lot with love!

Octopus is a lucky and lovely charm for me.

We will have a summer vacation this week. (Yes!)

Have a fabulous week!

Akashi girl, Maki ;)


Summer's greetings card, Kuchinashi

Since we will start to sell our new series #610 in August, we have just produced summer's greetings card using the same series.

The flower design of this card is gardenia, which we call "kuchinashi" in Japanese.
Don't you think the design look a little bit antique?

In fact, it is one of the vintage designs which was printed by woodblock printing in Meiji period (1868-1912) in Japan.

We were fascinated by the beauty of vintage designs during the period, and produced our new series.(Sorry, kuchinashi design is only for our summer's greetings card, not for sale. We look forward to introducing other pretty designs soon!)

Also, the card is hand made cotton paper produced by a Japanese artisan in Echizen area, where has a 1,000 year-paper-making history in Japan.

It is said that the flower, kuchinashi brings happiness and pleasure!

It's really hot(boiling!) here in Osaka, even though we are still in the rainy season..
During the summer vacation, I have a plan to visit Shikoku area (western Japan) to play in a river.
I'm a bit worried the weather, but I can't wait!

Please enjoy your lovely summer/winter season :)

Maki from Osaka


Tuesday night seminar

Our representative, Mr. Sugiura had a seminar last Tuesday.
The main theme of the seminar was about "how to write a better business letter."
Since the seminar was for business people, he told about the manners of business letter and some useful information such as the history of typography and paper.

Although we have been studying about these histories for a long time, I had learned some new stories through the seminar. It seems the world of letter writing culture is very deep.
(I should study more...!)

We will start some fun workshops in Tokyo store from autumn.
We look forward to introducing the joy of letter ;)



Tokyo Style 2009 by Visa card

We are featured as one of design trendsetters in Tokyo by Visa card!

In their website, they introduce some unique stores in Tokyo.

You can check these chic stores here, Tokyo Style 2009.
They are all famous in Japan, and we are so happy that Visa could
choose us with them :)

If you have chance to visit Tokyo, check the Visa website
so that you can get some nice coupons.

Of course, please don't forget to visit Winged Wheel page, too.



July 7th, Tanabata Day!

Hello world :)
It's getting hotter here in Tokyo.
Hot summer is just around the corner!

July 7th is "Tanabata day" in Japan.

We celebrate this day by writing wishes on tanzaku (pieces of paper like Origami), and hanging them on bamboo.
Especially, this event is for children so we can see some tanzaku in preschools and elementary schools.

I fond it at the preschool near my office.
There are some cute wishes:

"I want to be a good baseball player!"
"I want to be a Kamen Rider (a famous cartoon hero in Japan)."

What's your wish for your Tanabata Day??

I cannot choose one since I have many!
Have a wonderful week.



Japanese stationery trend reports - wedding stationery

The myth of "June bride" also has a magic power here in Japan.
Many brides want to have their weddings in June.
(The most popular wedding season is autumn, but spring is still popular.)

In our store area, Omotesando, there are some famous places for weddings, so we could see
many people (guests) for the weddings on the main street in June.

Now, many customers visit our Tokyo store to look for their wedding stationery for autumn weddings.
This time, let me introduce a little bit about the trends of wedding stationery in Japan.

As I wrote about the culture of "kamon" last time, every Japanese has their own family crest.
Recently, many couples use their family crests in their wedding stationery.

These are images of "kamon" wedding stationery.

(front -wedding invitation, back - reception program)

As you can see, there are two types of kamons on the cover, usually the right side is
groom's and left side is bride's.

One of the most popular printing/processing methods is letterpress (right one of the picture below) as well as Western trends. Also, foil stamping (center) and blind embossing (left) are popular.

Although most brides wear wedding dresses, almost of them also wear Japanese kimono.
I'm glad most Japanese women still love the beauty of traditional Japanese kimono. (I am crazy about the culture!)

I will write more about kimono next time.

Have a nice weekend!

Rumi, from Tokyo


Japanese family crest, "kamon"

Hi everyone!
Although it's a rainy season here in Japan, it's a sunny day today. (Yes!)

Have you ever heard of Japanese family crest?
It is called, "kamon" in Japanese. ("ka" means family, and "mon" means crest)
Every Japanese family has their own kamon, and it is said that there are more than 5,000 kamons in Japan.
The most popular kamon motifs depict plants, animals, insects, and tools.
Since I am not a kamon expert, if you are interested in its story and history,
please check Wiki!

Of course, I have one! My family's kamon is "tachibana," it's a kind of flower.
At first, I thoutht my ancestors were farmers or something?? haha!
In fact, my kamon is very common, and its origin is coming from a famous clan of samurai class,Tachibana family.

Many samurai class people had plants related kamons.
For example, the famous Shogun family, Tokugawa clan has a flower crest, called “aoi,” which is a holly hock flower.
Since we love the elegant design, we produced aoi card in our series 510.
Yes, we were inspired by the Shogun family kamon.

By the way, it was a coincidence that my colleague Maki’s and my kamons were the same, "tachibana". Amazing!

Our kamons are not so bad, right? :)
We made seals with the tachibana crest.

Rumi from Tokyo


Workshop in Osaka

Konnichiwa, world. It's Maki from Osaka, Japan.

Our store display in Osaka has changed. I love it!
I hope you love it, too.

Now, it’s a rainy season here in Japan.
Since we have humid and gloomy weather recently, it may be better to chill out at home.
Well, I guess it’s a lovely season to write a letter to someone, though. (That's a good idea!)

We will have a workshop on June 28th at Osaka store.
The theme is “personalized envelope.”
Participants can choose the paper type, ink color and the motif from our wide variety of design selections.
After that, I (as a product developer :) will coordinate and finish the designs for each envelope.
We print the patterns, and die cut into the envelope shape, which we call "diamond shape" as shown in the picture.

There are two ways to make your special envelope more creative. It looks different when you fold the motif pattern's side into inside or to outside. (like the image of the photo below)
Both ways look so fabulous.

By the way, the shape of the envelope without folding looks like a unique flat fish, "ray".
Don't you think so?
As I like its lovely shape, I decollated the "ray" envelopes at my room.

I look forward to the workshop.
Does anyone live in Osaka City??



National Stationery Show in NYC

It was so exciting to see a lot of adorable cards at the show.
I love the 2009 version of the show logo. It's an envelope shape!

It was very interesting that most (well, let's say over 90%) of greeting cards were letter pressed.
Letter press is a very popular printing method in the US.

At the show, I personally felt that the key words of the trends in the US market are "green", "nature" and "fun".

I could find so many creative words in the company concepts using "Eco" such as "Eco-luxu", "Eco-chic"as well as "Eco-friendly" which is now one of very famous green words.
Yes, I agree with their thoughts.
We need "Eco" plus something fun or creative!

As for designs, I thought there were many nature related designs with pretty colors.
I could find some stylish but so funny message cards, which make me laugh!
Because of recession? American people need some fun jokes. Hmm...same as Japan.

By the way, the Exhibition center, Javits Center is located on the corner of West 34th street and 11th Avenue, and it is not so convenient from the main areas in Manhattan.
I bet most foreign visitors feel so.
Especially, when you go back to your hotel by taxi, I do recommend not to wait at the taxi stand,
or, you have to wait for a loooooong time. It is better to walk a few blocks to the downtown area,
and you can find a taxi.

Anyway, I look forward to visiting NYC again!

Rumi, from Tokyo


New York, New York!

Since we had some meetings in NYC, I visited Big Apple!
This was the 4th visit, and every time I visit there,
I do feel the power of the city.
It's hard to explain, but I really like the lively people in
the city. Well, "Jaywalking" is a bit dangerous, though!

It was so exciting to see my best friend and colleague,
Cayce. She could join me from San Jose for the meetings.
(Thanks, Cayce!)

From May 17th to 20th, there was a big stationery exhibition,
called "National Stationery Show" in Javits Center(NYC).
I was thrilled to see a lot of the newest stationery
such as cards and pens.
(Let me introduce some trends later!)

The first day was cloudy and rained a little bit,
but the rest of my stay was sunny! Lucky :)
I took a photo of Empire State Building.
I love its cool Art Deco style!



Kanda Matsuri (Festival) in Tokyo

We had a very famous festival, called "Kanda Matsuri" here in Tokyo.
Since our head office is in Kanda area, I took some photos just in front of my office.
It was so cool!

As you can see, they wear the same uniforms and carry a "mikoshi",
portable shrine.
About 100 portable shrines gather for this festival, and
people parades through the streets of Tokyo.
If you are interested in this festival, I'm sure you can find some movies through the Internet like You Tube.

Japan has so many festivals in many places.

Since Winged Wheel's designs are very much inspired by Japanese ancient designs,
you can feel "Japan" from our cards and envelopes.

If you are kimono lovers, I recommend our series 510. (please check

Have a nice week!

Rumi, from Tokyo


Our store area, Omotesando

We had a staff meeting last Sunday morning.
After staff meetings, I usually stroll around our store area, Omotesando.

Omotesando is a hub of style and sophistication in Tokyo, and has many attractions such as luxurious shops, uniquely specialized boutiques and small galleries; all set along or just off a beautiful tree-lined main avenue.

Since it was a very sunny and comfy day on last Sunday, the main street was so crowded with many people than usual.

Tokyo has a lot of fun places, but please don't forget to visit Omotesando and our store ;)

After the staff meeting, I took a phot of our animal cards(series #602). It's like a zoo, right?
One of my favorite series!

Rumi from Tokyo


sakura, cherry blossoms!

Hello world :)
This is Maki from Osaka, Japan.

Yesterday, I took some photos of cherry blossoms in the park.
The cherry blossoms at night was just beautiful..!
It was so crowded with many people, and they were having parties.

Japanese loves to have parties under the cherry blossoms in this season, and it is called, "Hanami."

I wish I could introduce much nicer photo to you, but this is the best one.
Of course, it's better to see actual ones, so if you have a chance to visit Japan, I recommend spring!

And enjoy Hanami party here in Osaka ;)



Adorable translucent envelopes, series 321

Now, we can see a lot of cherry blossoms (sakura) here in Osaka.
It's so beautiful!

In Japan, we have a custom to have a party under the cherry blossoms
to enjoy the sakura season in mountains or in the parks.

Let us introduce our new series #321.
Have you ever seen such adorable envelopes?
For the paper, we use translucent paper, which make them unique.
We focus on the beauty of translucent colors and creature designs as patterns.
(There are 7 pretty pastel colors.)

In our Osaka store, pink (flamingo) and yellow green (pig) are popular.
What is your favorite? You can check all items here.

Have a nice week!

Maki, from Sunny Osaka


Our new messengers!

It is getting warmer here in Tokyo.
The forecast says the cherry trees will bloom on this weekend.
I can't wait!

Finally, 2 new kinds of #700 series!
The series designs, which include motifs such as the octopus, ladybug, peach are our best selling cards in our shops.
We've just begun to sell our 2 new designs.

They are our new messengers :)
chameleon and tarsier (monkey)

Chameleon is famous for changing colors of its body for protection, but one of the purposes is to communicate with each other. (Lovely!!)
Now, he/she is trying to change colors from green to pink. What is he/she trying to say??

I don't know if the tarsier is popular in your country, but it is very popular monkey in Japan.
Because it has big eyes, we call it, "megane zaru, (glasses monkey)" in Japanese.
Look at its fingers! So "kawaii"(cute), right?

Have a great weekend!

Rumi, from Tokyo


Our new series, 510 - ume

It is getting warmer here in Japan.
How is your contry?
We've just updated our brand new
series # 510 on our online store. Yay!

The theme of this series is "Japan", and we used the vibrant colors for this series, which are usually not used in these traditional motifs.This contrast is so chic, and it is so Winged Wheel style ;)

In Japan, it is very common to celebrate the flower season in spring.
So, one of the series, the ume card is the best for this season.
"Ume" means plum in Japanese.

Recently, I wrote a letter to my friend using this card as a thank you note.
I love the color!

Speaking of ume (plum), we have traditional pickled food made from unripe green plums, called "ume-boshi."

If you have a chance to eat them, please be careful since it is super sour!!
In Japan, it is used in various dishes as side dishes with breakfast, rice balls for lunch, etc.

Enjoy the lovely spring!

Maki from Osaka

paperworld 2009 - diary 3

At the show, there was a special display area, called "Trend Show."
The paperworld design team announces trends concept every year at the show, and they select some products from exhibitors.

The concepts of 2009/2010 is as below:

And our series 602 was selected by the team as "Slow"!!
Each concept has a stylish booth, and it was amazing to see our elephant card and envelope in the "Slow" booth.
We are so happy that many people visited our booth by checking this trend show.

Paperworld was so wonderful experience for us :)

"Arigatou" to all!

Rumi from Tokyo


paperworld 2009 - diary 2

For this exhibition, we produced about 100 new items, so we wanted to hear European people's feedback.

Many people from various European countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Greece had visited us. Also, we could talk with people from South America, Middle East and Africa!
(Again, thank you for finding us!)

In fact, we were a bit surprised that their preference is pretty similar to Japanese customers.
It's so wonderful they could understand Winged Wheel products concept.

"A blend of elements from both the traditional and contemporary Japanese arts!"

We would like to say "Arigatou"(Thank you!) to some customers who had already ordered our cards and envelopes.
It's so exciting that our cards are already sold in some chic stationery stores overseas :)
We feel awesome!

Rumi and Maki


paperworld 2009 - diary 1

We exhibited to "paperworld", one of famous stationery show in the world from Jan 31 to Feb 3 in Frankfurt.

We were so overwhelmed by the exhibition center! Sooooooo HUGE!!
Actually, there are about 10 halls with 3 to 4 floors. Our booth was in Hall 6 (2nd floor), and it took about 10 minutes from the main entrance on foot.

Can you believe the numbers of exhibitors was over 2000? (Yes, it's true!)
Also, we are impressed by other exhibitors, especially famous companies had a big booth with amazing displays, with many staff members...

Although our place was really simple, it was our pleasure that many people could visit us.
We would love to say thank you to people who could find us.

(We were 1 of 2000 companies...!)

We produced almost 100 new products, and this was the first time to introduce them.
It was really wonderful that European people love Winged Wheel style stationery :)

I will introduce more about the show soon!

Rumi from Tokyo


paperworld, Frankfurt

We are going to Germany from January 30th to February 7th!

We will exhibit in a stationery show called, "paperworld" in Frankfurt.
In fact, this is the first time to exhibit to the show,
so we are a bit worried, but at the same time, we are so thrilled!

Since the show is the biggest exhibition for stationery industry,
we look forward to introducing our brand new products to many people.

If you have a chance to visit the show, we would LOVE to meet you at our booth at
B30 in Hall 6.2.

See you in Frankfurt!

Rumi and Maki