Kids Web Japan

Erasers in Japan Are Fun to Look at and Fun to Use!

Puzzle erasers from iwako® (Photos courtesy of iwako Co., Ltd.)

What do you think of when you hear the word "eraser?" In Japan, there are many erasers that come in fun shapes, like animals, food, vehicles, and other familiar objects. Let's take a look at fun erasers that are super popular with kids in Japan.

Japan's Fun Erasers Are Not Just for Correcting Mistakes!

Regular erasers are used to correct mistakes when writing on paper. However, in Japan, there are many colorful erasers with fun shapes that bring joy to kids. People who are all grown up today also used to bring fun erasers to school with their friends to play together and see each other's collections. Erasers shaped like food and other fun objects were originally created in Japan around 1980. It is said that a plastic stationery company had an idea that erasers didn't always need to be square, and then created a series of erasers that looked just like vegetables.

The vegetable series has been around for decades. The school series on the right has erasers shaped like objects used in Japanese schools. Here, there are backpacks for carrying textbooks and writing materials, as well as a pair of scissors, a stapler, and other types of stationery. There is also a vaulting horse used in physical education, and instruments used in music classes. Puzzle erasers from iwako® (Photos courtesy of iwako Co., Ltd.)

Later, many other kinds of erasers appeared, with carefully made designs that brought excitement to kids.

The Unicorn & Pegasus series of fictional animals is popular with girls, and the Dinosaur series is popular with boys. Puzzle erasers from iwako® (Photos courtesy of iwako Co., Ltd.)

There are now more and more erasers that you can break up into small pieces. In the past, it was common to see erasers that are made up of about one to three parts in total. But recently, these erasers have become more detailed, and there are even some that break up into seven parts now. You can put them together like a puzzle, so they are fun for kids to play with.

Cute erasers shaped like sweets. You can break them up into individual parts, like the sponge and toppings. Puzzle erasers from iwako® (Photos courtesy of iwako Co., Ltd.)

One surprising series of erasers has gained attention, as they resemble another type of stationery that lets you draw things rather than erase them! A company that makes oil pastels for art has created erasers in many colors that are exactly the same size as the real oil pastels. These erasers capture kids' imaginations.

It looks just like the real thing (the eraser is at the bottom). This eraser is designed so that even small kids can erase things easily with little force. (Photos courtesy of Sakura Color Products Corporation)

Scented Erasers That Bring a Smile to Your Face

There are also many erasers that have fun scents which kids love. For example, erasers shaped like sliced bread have the scent of delicious butter. Erasers shaped like shaved ice in a cup have different scents to match common toppings, such as sweet strawberry or matcha syrup. The "donburi" (rice bowl) series looks and smells just like unique Japanese dishes. For example, the beef bowl eraser smells of meat boiled with soy sauce, and the seafood bowl smells of sashimi from various fish. To make these erasers, the product designer prepared many scent samples, and chose the ones that a lot of people felt were the closest to the real thing.

Sliced bread erasers with packaging that looks close to the real thing.

These erasers look like shaved ice, a treat that is commonly eaten in the summer in Japan. You can take the "ice" out of the cup and use it like a normal eraser.

These erasers have the scent of donburi (rice bowls), a type of Japanese home cooking made by putting meat or fish on top of freshly cooked rice. (Photos courtesy of funbox Co., Ltd.)

There are also kneaded erasers with scents that kids love, such as fruits or soda. (Photos courtesy of Sakura Color Products Corporation)

New and Exciting Ways to Use Erasers

It is said that fun erasers can help boost kids' desire to study, and that using small erasers can help increase perception skills. Erasers make for fun presents and can strengthen friendships. There are stories about a child who went to hospital and one of the only joys during that stay was their mom bringing fun erasers as gifts. Another child was said to have been not so good at making friends, but then came to meet some friends through fun erasers.

You can buy fun erasers in many different places in Japan, such as stationery stores, book stores, convenience stores, and major retailers. Recently, children around the world have enjoyed events related to erasers. If you ever get the chance to see fun erasers from Japan, why not enjoy looking for your favorite shape?

"Eraser Buffets" that let you buy a selection of erasers to suit your tastes for a fixed price.

An area in a major retailer dedicated to puzzle erasers from iwako®.

An exhibition held outside of Japan. (Photos courtesy of iwako Co., Ltd.)