Kuretake (art products)

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]

Kuretake Co., Ltd.
Founded1902; 119 years ago (1902)
FounderNarakichi Watatani
Area served
Key people
Masanori Watatani, President[1]
ProductsMarkers, brush pens, inks
  • Zig
  • ScrapBooking
Number of employees

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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