The beauty lies in leafing through every single page

ハルカゼ舎 2021 calendar




Nestled in Tai O is Anchorage Store. Max, the owner, was insisting that I touch this beautifully printed calendar. The sheets were thin and silky – like parchment paper, one side was glossier than the other. As is characteristic of traditional Chinese wall calendars, each sheet of the calendar represented each day in the year. I remembered obsessing with the credulous, daily do’s and don’ts when I was little – there was something fascinating about words which you did not understand.

The calendar was produced by Harukazesha, a highly popular stationery shop in Setagaya, Tokyo. Located in a quiet street, it’s the kind of neighbourhood shop where you would hang around in every day after school, and your parents would know that you’re safe. You’d go there often enough to know the shop inside out by heart, still nothing would bring you greater joy than to touch – and see – every curiosity on offer.

Every year, Harukazesha releases this memo-like, miniature calendar. Smaller than a palm, each sheet represents a day, and each day features a quote. The ceremonial gesture of tearing off each day glimmers with anticipation, but the days are long – and the year is short. Soon, the thrill of ceremony is overshadowed by the passage of time. But as Harukazesha preaches, “There are days of joy, days of vulnerability, days of anticipation, and days of enjoyment. The beauty lies in leafing through every single page.” Some days the pages come alive, dancing between one’s fingers. Other days, they are stuck in a blur, demanding a bit more strength, time and a bit more patience.


With 12 years of history, Harukazesha specialises not just in classic, functional stationery, but also heartwarming small gifts. Their postcard collection, for example, solicited the artistic help from local school children to hand-draw everyday items such as mackerels, bread, and pencils. Browsing such a lovely collection, one reckons the owner of Harukazesha must be an equally loveable character, working behind the scenes of a corner shop to create a space where all is welcome.