Goshuinchō: Japanese "temple seal" notebooks

If you've ever visited a Buddhist temple or Shinto shrine in Japan, you may have seen people with small, colorful notebooks lining up at the office to get them stamped. Goshuinchō 御朱印帳 literally means scarlet seal book, and they were traditionally used by pilgrims to record their visits. Nowadays, they are also popular with tourists as a way to commemorate their trip. Each temple or shrine has beautiful red seals which are stamped on the pages of the notebook, along with (usually beautifully executed) calligraphy. For example:

nozomin | © PIXTA

Unlike a conventional notebook, the goshuinchō contains one long sheet of Japanese paper, folded accordion-style to create multiple pages. That also adds to their unique charm. Even if you're not traveling to Japan anytime soon, you can still enjoy a goshuinchō and find creative uses for it. Whether it's for writing a story, drawing a scroll painting that stretches across several panels, or even just sketching or drawing, your imagination is the limit.

Although goshuinchō are often sold at temples and shrines, you can also find ones that do not have any associations with a particular temple and can be purchased in places like department stores...

But we strongly recommend this gorgeous series of goshuinchō with intricately carved wooden covers.

© grape SHOP

Wooden cover goshuinchō notebooks in a variety of patterns

These goshuinchō notebooks produced by the innovative manufacturing group "CRUCIAL" convey the warmth of wood and feature designs reminiscent of Japanese shrines and temples.

© grape SHOP

Here are three of the beautiful goshuinchō with covers made of laser-cut wood.

Check out the whole CRUCIAL goshuinchō series at grape SHOP.

(We use WorldShopping Global. The grape SHOP page is in Japanese, but if you see the WorldShopping widget appear at the bottom of the page, that product can be shipped overseas)


Asagi 浅葱

© grape SHOP

The Asagi 浅葱 notebook gets its name from the background color asagi, a traditional Japanese color blending green and blue which can also be described as "dark cyan." Here is an asagi-colored bar:

浅葱

The laser-cut and burnished wood design is based on the traditional shippō 七宝 pattern (literally "seven treasures").

When viewed from an angle, the beauty of the three-dimensional cut and decorative lines can be clearly seen.

© grape SHOP

You can appreciate the attractive contrast between the asagi-colored background panel and the carved wood cover.

Check out the CRUCIAL goshuinchō: Asagi at grape SHOP.

(We use WorldShopping Global. The grape SHOP page is in Japanese, but if you see the WorldShopping widget appear at the bottom of the page, that product can be shipped overseas)

Kiaka 黄赤

© grape SHOP

The gradation from yellow to red is striking in this design.

The autumn-colored goshuinchō is reminiscent of the autumn leaves seen at shrines and temples in Japan.

Check out the CRUCIAL goshuinchō: Kiaka at grape SHOP.

(We use WorldShopping Global. The grape SHOP page is in Japanese, but if you see the WorldShopping widget appear at the bottom of the page, that product can be shipped overseas)

Nami ni chidori 波に千鳥

© grape SHOP

Nami ni chidori 波に千鳥 literally means "plovers (over) the waves," alluding to the way plovers are often seen along the coast.

This goshuinchō borrows this traditional Japanese pattern. The rounded plovers and the gradation from pink to light blue in the background color are both very cute.

Check out the CRUCIAL goshuinchō: Nami ni chidori at grape SHOP.

(We use WorldShopping Global. The grape SHOP page is in Japanese, but if you see the WorldShopping widget appear at the bottom of the page, that product can be shipped overseas)


Carefully Crafted Goshuinchō

Each goshuinchō, like this one below, is carefully made by craftsmen.

© grape SHOP

The laser-cutting is also very detailed, giving the book dignity befitting a goshuinchō.

There are various other designs available, such as the vividly colored Hanabishi 花菱 (flower-shaped lozenges) and the Usumurasaki 薄紫 (light purple) with a plant motif.

© grape SHOP

These gorgeous and carefully crafted goshuinchō notebooks are great as a gift or for your personal use, whether you choose to use them in a Japanese shrine or temple, or just enjoy them in your home country.

Check out the whole CRUCIAL goshuinchō series at grape SHOP.

(We use WorldShopping Global. The grape SHOP page is in Japanese, but if you see the WorldShopping widget appear at the bottom of the page, that product can be shipped overseas)


By - Ben K.