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Sakura Color Products Corporation

Sakura Color Products Corporation (株式会社サクラクレパス) is a Japanese company headquartered in Morinomiya-chuo, Chuo-ku, Osaka, Japan, which produces a variety of stationery items. Although the firm commercializes a wide range of products, Sakura is more known by its marker pens, such as the Micron liners.

Sakura Color Products Corporation
Kabushiki gaisha
FoundedOsaka, Japan (1921 (1921)) [1]
HeadquartersMorinomiya-chuo, Chuo-ku, Osaka, Japan
Area served
Key people
Teiichi Nishimura
(President) [1]
ProductsArt materials
Revenue¥ 90 million [1]
Number of employees
1,200 [1]
SubsidiariesTalens Japan (Osaka and Tokyo)
Shin Nihon Zokei (Tokyo)
Daishowa Printing (Osaka)
Royal-Talens B.V. (Netherlands)
Bruynzeel-Sakura B.V. (Netherlands)
Sakura Color Products of America, Inc. (US)
Shanghai Sakura Stationery (Shanghai, China PR)



The company was initially founded as a crayons manufacturer in 1921. By 1924, Sakura invented the first-ever oil pastel that combined oil and pigment, which was patented globally as the "Cray-pas (クレパス)" trademark.

In 1982 the firm launched its famous "Pigma" marker pen lines.

In 1984 Sakura invented the first gel-based ink, featured in its new ballpoint pens lines. Gel ink pens are currently produced by many stationery companies.

The North-American division of the company, "Sakura Color Products of America, Inc." was established in Hayward, California in 1986. Other division of Sakura in Asia, "Shanghai Sakura International Trading Co., Ltd. (Chinese: 上海櫻花文化用品有限公司)" was established in Shanghai, China in 2002.


Sakura of America booth at Maker Faire 2008

The following is a list with the large range of products commercialized by Sakura:[2]

Category Products
Pens ballpoint pens, gel ink pens, refills
Pencils Mechanical pencils, colored pencils
Markers Water based and permanent marker pens, highlighters, brush pens
Writing accessories Erasers, whiteboard erasers, glue pens
Art materials Crayons, pastels, oil pastels, water colors, acrylic paints, gouaches,
oil paints, water-soluble printing colors, brushes, palettes


Sakura "Pigma" markers have been widely used by many comic book artists to ink their pages. Some of them are George Pérez and Ethan Van Sciver.[citation needed]

Cray-Pas Wonderful, Colorful World ContestEdit

Sakura of America started the annual national art contest in the United States in 1996. The contest is open to all U.S. students grades K through 8 to create a picture that is drawn mostly with oil pastels, preferably Cray-Pas. The judging is done by separate grade categories: K-2, 3-5 and 6-8. Three winners in each category are medalists and 25 more students are awarded honorable mention.[3][4] There have been 17,000 submissions each year with winning entries displayed online and some have been published in printed material.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d Sakura corporate profile
  2. ^ Product lines
  3. ^ "Cray-Pas' sponsors 'colorful' contest". San Francisco Chronicle. 20 October 2001. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  4. ^ "Cray-Pas Wonderful, Colorful World Contest" (PDF). Michaels Stores, Inc. Retrieved 29 December 2012.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ McGuire, Barbara A. (2001). Embracing child art : projects for grown-ups to keep and treasure. Iola, WI: Krause Publications. p. 15. ISBN 0-87341-985-5.

External linksEdit