Kuretake (art products)

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Kuretake Co., Ltd.
Founded1902; 121 years ago (1902)
FounderNarakichi Watatani
Area served
Key people
Masanori Watatani, President[1]
ProductsMarkers, brush pens, inks
  • Zig
  • ScrapBooking
Number of employees

Kuretake is a Japanese manufacturing company of writing implements. The firm began its activities manufacturing sumi ink and brushes and then expanded its range of products, producing mainly pens.[3]

Current range of products manufactured by Kuretake includes markers, brush pens, inks, watercolors.


Founded under the name of "Kuretake Sumi" in 1902, the company originally started by producing sumi brushes, a brush similar in style to certain watercolor brushes,[3] sharing a generally thick wooden or bamboo handle, and a broad soft hair brush that when wetted form a fine tip. The brushes produced by Kuretake Sumi were designed for sumi-e, or inkwash painting.

In 1965, Kuretake Industries Co., Ltd. was established as a plant specializing in the production of writing instruments while Tokyo office was established.[3] In 1986, a subsidiary, "Kuretake U.K. Ltd." was established in the West Midlands, England.[3] In 2014 another subsidiary, "Kuretake ZIG Corporation" was established in Sacramento, United States.


Kuretake (and its subsidiary brand, "Zig") manufactures a wide variety of markers, such as highlighters and watercolor markers.

The firm also gained reputation for its "brush pen", similar to a marker pen with a brush-shapered flexible tip but refillable, using replaceable ink cartridges like fountain pens do.[4] The brush pen by Kuretake was the first using cartridges (although Pentel would later launch a brush model that used cartridges also).

Through its brand "ScrapBooking", Kuretake produces other stationery items such as papers, templates, corner punches, color selectors, and photo tapes.[5][6]


  1. ^ "Kuretake statement as of 2011". Archived from the original on 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2011-05-23.
  2. ^ "Company profile". Archived from the original on 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2011-05-23.
  3. ^ a b c d "Kuretake history - official site". Archived from the original on 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2011-05-23.
  4. ^ Kuretake brush pen review on Parkablogs, 19 Nov 2012
  5. ^ Kuretake UK - Products
  6. ^ "Kuretake products in CraftIndustry site". Archived from the original on 2011-08-31. Retrieved 2011-05-23.

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