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December 2005

Decorated Notebooks

Examples of puricho

Middle and high school girls are going crazy over decorated notebooks called puricho. First they adorn their notebooks with purikura (instant photo-stickers printed at "print club" booths). Then the girls decorate them further using more stickers and colored pens and pencils, so that they become a kind of diary recording memories of a particular day or moment.

Puricho evolved from the sticker books that are popular with elementary school students. From about the second or third grade, girls have fun putting stickers in special notebooks, sometimes swapping stickers with their friends. Once they get a few years older, the girls begin decorating their notebooks with purikura taken with their friends. 

First-year high school students Nagisa and Manami began creating puricho when they were in their second year of middle school. "I love taking purikura with friends. I stick them on my notebook and write about things that happened at the time," says Nagisa. Girls store stickers that don't fit in their notebooks in cans or other containers, sometimes exchanging them with their friends. "I'm so happy when I complete a whole notebook. During school recess we write in them and show them to each other," explains Manami enthusiastically.

Pens and other stationery used in decori

Recently, some girls have even begun competing with one another to make the most lavishly decorated puricho. They clip pictures in their own style, stick them to their notebooks, and then draw designs on them. This is called decori (from the English "decoration"), and teen magazines often feature decori techniques and decori writing materials, such as glitter pens.

"The word decori has emerged over the past three years, and it is quite common among elementary and middle school students," says a spokesman for Nicola, a magazine that targets elementary and middle school girls. "Kids affix purikura to their notebooks, decorate them, and write diary entries in them. Sometimes they even write the lyrics to songs they like at that time. Ultimately, the books become a sort of personal history of their time as elementary and middle students," he explained.

Puricho give girls a great way to document the events in their lives in their own style. This fun pastime looks sure to keep on growing.

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