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It seems Tomoe River has just been discontinued.



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RankAmateur
On 5/9/2021 at 1:43 AM, A Smug Dill said:

Could, or should, I therefore conclude that the sheen-loving fans of Tomoe River, which are (how small?) a subset of the fountain pen (ink) user community, just aren't and/or haven't been spending enough on the products they so adore and often evangelise?

Probably not. Tomoe River papers are a tiny fraction of Tomoegawa Co.'s business. They make superconductor film; plastics; printer toner; raw pulp; and industrial chemicals. They have interests in real estate, transportation, and forest management. It's a $280- million-a-year company.

Even if every single fountain pen user bought Tomoe River paper for every single paper purchase, it would still be a tiny niche product, and couldn't carry the whole paper-making arm of a large company. Don't blame the fountain pen aficionados - we are small, and no match for broader market forces.

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RankAmateur
On 5/9/2021 at 11:12 AM, CityPop said:

I just purchased a 4k sheet pack using a forwarding service. Is there any way one might be able to confirm whether or not the paper itself is being discontinued, or Sakae TP's offering of the paper in it's notebooks?

 

Edit: Based on the recent press release, it seems all of Sakae TP's offerings of Tomoe River Paper are being discontinued, including loose leaf sheets.

Tomoegawa Co. has announced that it is discontinuing paper production with the No. 9 machine, including all new Tomoe River. So it's not just Sakae products. That's according to Tokyo Inklings' examination of management reports - they seem to have accurate information. There *might* be NEW machines at some point, though.

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RankAmateur
On 5/9/2021 at 6:54 PM, CityPop said:

I think the key/reason for confusion here is that: Sakae TP and Tomoegawa, AFAIK, are separate entities. I messaged Tomoegawa on social media, and the paper is being made(New Stock, no.9 machine). To me, this announcement just means that the previous stock of old TR paper has finally run out(after quite a few months) and any new looseleaf paper or notebooks, will eventually be sold with the new TR paper. It is possible that SakaeTP will cease making notebooks with TR paper, but I find that hard to believe.


Please feel free to correct me!

Tokyo Inklings contacted Sakae anf Tomoegawa, and it appears confirmed: ALL Tomoe River production is slated to end. There *might* be NEW new machines at some point...

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gyasko
5 minutes ago, RankAmateur said:

Probably not. Tomoe River papers are a tiny fraction of Tomoegawa Co.'s business. They make superconductor film; plastics; printer toner; raw pulp; and industrial chemicals. They have interests in real estate, transportation, and forest management. It's a $280- million-a-year company.

Even if every single fountain pen user bought Tomoe River paper for every single paper purchase, it would still be a tiny niche product, and couldn't carry the whole paper-making arm of a large company. Don't blame the fountain pen aficionados - we are small, and no match for broader market forces.

 

Again, the TR paper is used for much more than loose sheets for fp users.  

 

It has been used in publishing, especially for big, expensive  reference books and for agendas for decades.  I haven’t been keeping up with the publishing biz as much as i used to, but i suspect that publishing companies declining sales & subsequent cheaping out on paper is a big factor here.  

 

 

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RankAmateur
On 5/12/2021 at 11:10 PM, Dione said:

Me too. :)  Only need to make sure to get rid of my old stuff first :(

https://tokyoinklings.com/episodes/032/

 

If you listen to this, about 22m - 37m, you might feel less relieved. There are two machines producing Tomoe River paper (TRP.) 'Old' TRP on Machine No. 7 and 'new' TRP on Machine No. 9. The old machine was not fully decommissioned yet but will be this autumn - Sakae Technical Products will stop all of their TRP notebooks, etc., due to that, as they never used New TRP. But the company making looseleaf TRP is ALSO halting all production on the No. 9 machine, including New TRP. There is some slight chance they will invest in even better machines for decreased production, but that is far from guaranteed.

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CityPop
22 minutes ago, RankAmateur said:

Tokyo Inklings contacted Tomoegawa, and it was confirmed: ALL Tomoe River production is slated to end.

Is this after the latest podcast(last few days)? I messaged fude fan yesterday and he did say that Tomoegawa was working on other ways to make tomoe river, which is consistent with what I heard directly from them, posted in my screenshot earlier in this thread. 

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RankAmateur
3 minutes ago, CityPop said:

Is this after the latest podcast(last few days)? I messaged fude fan yesterday and he did say that Tomoegawa was working on other ways to make tomoe river, which is consistent with what I heard directly from them, posted in my screenshot earlier in this thread. 

The episode was May 23rd. Looks like BOTH machines that make Tomoe River (the 'old' No. 7 and the 'new' No. 9) will be shut down. The company *may* invest in NEW new machines and make some NEW new version if TRP. Maybe. I don't think TRP as we know it is long for this world. But I can see why there's room for optimism. 

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Karmachanic

If TR continues to be made, I'll use it. If not I'll use something else cuz "cryin' won't help you, and prayin' won't do you no good."

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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RankAmateur

This was in a pen retailer's newsletter today:

 

"UPDATE- Lion Office Products (US Tomoe River Paper Distributor) officially announced Friday 5/28 that the factory has decided to cease production of all 52gsm paper. After retooling, and coming out with a different paper grade in 2020, the company has decided the best course of action is to continue making 68gsm paper ONLY."

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ParkerBeta

Thanks!  I guess this means that 68gsm Tomoe River paper is not made on Machine #9, and may be made in smaller quantities than 52gsm paper. Anyway, as long as we have some TR paper the sky will not have fallen! 🤪

S.T. Dupont Ellipsis 18kt M nib

Opus 88 Flow steel M nib

Waterman Man 100 Patrician Coral Red 18kt factory stub nib

Franklin-Christoph Model 19 with Masuyama 0.7mm steel cursive italic nib

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6 hours ago, RankAmateur said:

This was in a pen retailer's newsletter today:

 

"UPDATE- Lion Office Products (US Tomoe River Paper Distributor) officially announced Friday 5/28 that the factory has decided to cease production of all 52gsm paper. After retooling, and coming out with a different paper grade in 2020, the company has decided the best course of action is to continue making 68gsm paper ONLY."

The messaging for this paper discontinuation has been left, right, and everything in between. Now 68GSM is still going to be made? Hahaha.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks @fudefan for the information in that blog post, and @genedan for the link !  My current interpretation is that the "new" paper was never intended to be the same as the old paper.  I can't find it, so have no references, but am fairly certain that in 2018 when I bought my first 68gsm Tomoe River notebook (the Taroko Enigma) that I found "68N" somewhere as the paper that was in there.  Based on what I have read so far, I interpret like this:  "N" doesn't mean the new machine.  Whatever "N" stands for, it is NOT "new" or "number nine machine".  It's probably a recipe for how they make the paper, maybe it's a mnemonic for something (notebook?), buy my money is on it being something simpler, like the recipe created after "M".  As anybody who has much experience with both of the papers knows, the 68gsm paper was never the same as the old 52gsm paper:  it wasn't just heavier:  it's softer, has more texture, and shows ink differently.  Sound familiar?  Like the 52N?  I'm going to infer that the new paper, the product called "52N", is intended to be like the 68gsm paper, just thinner/lighter. 

 

For those who prefer the old recipe for 52gsm, that's too bad, but you already knew it was different.  Personally, I always preferred the 68gsm to the old 52gsm, not just because it was heavier, but because of the other things, too.


I think this thread (and the entire "new/old Tomoe River" thing that's been happening for a year) is an object lesson of multiple things, all of which are working together to create a situation prone to FUD:

 

* Things get lost in translation.  Tomoegawa is a large Japanese company, their customer (i.e. who they sell paper too) are large distributors.  So their messaging is in Japanese and to paper distributors. 

 

* Human languages are imprecise.  I believe somebody might have honestly said that the new paper is a replacement for the old paper.  That doesn't mean that it's even intended to be the same.  As if I said "I'm sorry you lost that ruby necklace, I'll get you a diamond necklace to replace it".

 

* Pay attention to the source of the information.  Are they in a position to know?  If you don't know their source then how do you know what they know?  I value that fudefan is in Japan and speaks both languages.  In his blog he also states that he has been communicating with Tomoegawa.  Note, however, that it does not mean that the words are divinely inspired.

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