Mitsubishi Kakikata 2B (and some info about other pencils for children)

Mitsubishi must be one of my favorite pencil manufacturers. I first saw the Kakikata pencil on Bobby Truby’s website Brand Name Pencils, where he has a blue one for sale. My heart was drawn to the red one, though, which has been on my search list for quite a while. Luckily, Enpitsu Philia of 鉛筆五四三 was able to help me out. Many, many thanks her!

Kakikata (書き方) means “How to write” in Japanese (I believe, although please correct me if I am wrong). The pencil is made just for that.

The round barrel makes it very easy to hold. The barrel is painted very bright colors. I have an example in red and orange, though I am aware of sky blue being another option. The colors seem fitting for a pencil meant for schoolchildren.

The lettering is silver foil on the front. On the back, there is a combination of gold foil and white paint. It looks like the foil was applied well, although the age of the pencil is visible through the wear the foil has suffered from.


There is a small space on the pencil for the owner to write their name. There are two other spots on top. I don’t know Japanese, so I am not sure what they are for. If you’re able to figure it out, please drop a comment or send me an email!


The pencil itself is made very well. The lead core is well centered, with the two halves of the wood matching in both grain and color. The halves are joined well and there is no gap between the pieces.

The paint is chipping at the edges, though I suspect this to be a result of its age rather than a manufacturing issue.

Unless I’m magically able to accumulate many, many of these pencils, I probably will never sharpen one. Honestly, I’m very satisfied with my Hi-Unis and 9800s and don’t feel a need to put another pencil into my rotation.

However, I suspect that these, along with my French Mitsubishi Uni and Mitsubishi White Pencil, will remain in my collection as “things I like”.


Some other info:

If you’re interested in other Kakikata pencils, Mitsubishi still produces a version, item number 4653. Pencil Talk did a short write up on these pencils here. There is also the Mitsubishi NanoDia, which, while not having the Kakikata label, is labeled as “for kids”. Pencil Talk also did a review of them here.

Sticking with Japanese manufacturers, Tombow has their ippo! pencil, which is categorized on their website under Kakikata. Here is a link to a random review I found on the internet: link. Gunther, from Lexikaliker, also mentions this Tombow Blue pencil that is marketed to kids. I can’t read German, but if you can or if you’d like to look at pretty pictures, here is a link.

Lastly, Staedtler also produced their own Kakikata pencil released ca. December 2016. I am working on getting my hands a box of each set, but in the mean time, please check out Bleistift’s post here.

French Mitsubishi Uni HB

Sometimes, I’m just drawn to certain things. For some reason, white pencils have always been one. I saw this Mitsubishi Uni HB on Bobby Truby’s Brand Name Pencils. I was adding a bunch of pencils to my cart, but later on forgot about it until I contacted him about a trade, in which this Franco-Japanese pencil was included!


Getting the pencil in person, I found an odd beauty to it. Like many of Mitsubishi’s higher end pencils, foil was used on the lettering. The gold foiling can be seen on other pencils, such as the Hi-Uni (my personal favorite), but the hardness was embossed using a purple/magenta foil. Might sound like an odd combination, but I sure wish they made other pencils with this purple foil on white lacquer combination.

Check out the pretty floral pattern as well as that purple foiling!

On the reverse of the pencil, there is a set of three sentences in French: “Je tu veux te donner un coup de point. Je t’aime. veux t’embrasser.”

Pardon my French, for it is rusty (non-existent), but using Google Translate, I came up with the translation of: “I want to give you a punch. I love you. I want to kiss you.”

“I want to give you a punch.”
“I love you.”
“Want to kiss you.”

Translated, it sends some mixed signals, but perhaps it’s trying to be romantic? I could come up with some theories, but it would all just be conjecture.

I’m not one for clutter, but this is another one of those pencils that won’t get sharpened or used. Maybe it’ll be a gift for a special lady friend, or maybe I’ll just like it so much and keep it. I think I need more.

If you’d like to buy one, I believe Bobby Truby still has some over here (I didn’t get paid for this link). Try not to buy them out, though. I still need to stock some up for the future.

Mitsubishi Hi-Uni Review



The Mitsubishi Hi-Uni is a high end pencil. Two or three pencils equating the cost of a box of Mitsubishi 9800s, the Hi-Uni is supposed to be much better than its workhorse relative. But how much better can a pencil be?


Place of Manufacture: Japan
Price: $20-25 for a box of 12, $2-3 per pencil


The Mitsubishi Hi-Uni comes in a nice plastic case when a dozen are purchased. There is an inner plastic divider to separate the two layers of six pencils. The build quality is quite decent and it keeps the pencils safe. I like it so much that I still use it to hold some of my favorite pencils.

Fit and Finish


The level of detail and meticulousness that Mitsubishi has put into this pencil is amazing. The maroon lacquer is perfect (out of the box, that is) and there are no scratches nor is there chipped paint. The lettering is crisp and precise all around. The foil band around the end is straight and fits perfectly in the groove that is cut into the wood. The graphite core sits very centered. I have no complaints at all.



The design of the Mitsubishi Hi-Uni has one flaw: the clutter. The barcode on the backside along with the UPC set this back from other pencils such as the Blackwing.

Similarly, the multitude of fonts used on the pencil can make it an eyesore.

However, the colors used, red, black and gold, work well together.



The jump from a 9800 to the Hi-Uni is quite evident. The Hi-Uni has a much smoother core than the 9800 while maintaining a certain level of feedback. The pencil is obviously harder than a Blackwing 602, but will not lose to it in terms of smoothness. It has a bit of residue when writing with lots of pressure, but normal writing will erase well.

Sharpening the pencil is fun. The cedar the Mitsubishi has used in the pencil smells great and sharpeners glide through the wood.


The Mitsubishi Hi-Uni is a high end pencil. It features a good lead core, nice wood and great fit and finishing at a more expensive price. It has a few design issues, but overall, it is a great pencil.

Mitsubishi White Pencil Review


I initially saw this pencil online and thought nothing much of it. It’s so plain and simple and seems like one of those “souvenir” or “kids” pencils. However, after seeing guy in person, I knew I had to have it. It’s too bad I didn’t realize how amazing it is. It’s impossible to find them nowadays.*

*Do leave me a message if you know a source for them. You’ll be well rewarded. I promise.


Place of Manufacture: Japan (?)
Price: 30NTD (~$1)


I bought this pencil at a store in Taiwan called Plain (no affiliation: they have better pictures than I do). They weren’t individually packaged, although they did come with transparent pencil caps. I am not sure whether or not these came from Mitsubishi or if the store owner put them on himself.IMG_20160224_231152

In correspondence with a fellow pencil enthusiasts, I learned that the pencil was also produced in grey. Another spoke of how they also purchased one in Japan. I believe that the pencil was an Asia limited edition in 2014.

Fit and FinishIMG_20160224_231100

The pencil has great fit and finish. I cannot find any issue with the paint (albeit it is only white). The logo at the end of the pencil appears to be either foil or metallic paint. On my particular example, it seems like the logo might be wearing off a bit.

IMG_20160224_231018The pencil came pre-sharpened at a larger angle. The plastic pencil cap that protects the tip has created dents in the hexagonal body. I don’t believe I had capped/uncapped the pencil enough times to cause the damage myself, so it believe it was caused when the pencil cap was initially pushed on. I have since left the pencil uncapped.


The pencil is stated to be of hardness HB although my writing experience (as well as that of the owner of Plain) has found it to be closer to B. The tip does not wear quickly and, in many ways, it writes very similarly to the Hi-Uni.

I don’t write with it too often, but here’s a brief writing and erasing sample.



This pencil means a lot to me. It sparked a weird fetish of mine for white pencils and I continue to search for pencils of the sort. This is a pencil for the collection and it sits with my EF Blackwings in a nice padded box. Until I can find more, if possible, that’s where it’ll live.

Mitsubishi 9800 Review


I’m just going to put it out there: the Mitsubishi 9800 is my favorite production everyday use pencil of all time. I’m not going to say it is better than a Hi-Uni or Swiss Wood or vintage Blackwing, but for the normal workday (or school day), this pencil excels.


Place of Manufacture: Japan
Price: $7-8 for a box of 12


When purchased in a box of 12, you get a nice vintage looking box.

Fit and Finish


The pencils have relatively good fit and finish. The paint is consistent and the gold foil is crisp. The quality of the wood is not always the same. Some halves are darker than the others. While it makes no effect with the writing experience or sharpening, it can be a bit of an eyesore. The leads are well centered.

Around the ends, there are times when the edges have chipped paint. I would guess that it occurred either from cutting the wood or when the pencils were being packaged. Once again, it’s not much of a functional issue, but it does affect the aesthetics.


The pencil features a no-nonsense design. There is gold lettering featuring the company name, model and lead hardness. There is no eraser.


I love this pencil because of its workhorse abilities. The pencil is light and well balanced because of the lack of ferrule and eraser. One can sharpen it from both ends for long, uninterrupted writing sessions.

The pencil comes in many different lead hardness grades (is that a word?) including HB, B, 2B, F, H, and 2H. I personally like the HB and B grades. The B grade gives a much darker line than the HB grade while the 2B wears down super quickly. Furthermore, the 2B smears very easily. With decent pressure, the HB gives



I use this guy for everything. It’s not supposed to be a safe-queen and you shouldn’t treat it as one. I love it because it’s cheap and reliable. If I could have one pencil in the world, I’d choose a Mitsubishi 9800.