The Hobonichi Techo is a Life Book, and you are the author.
2015 marks the 14th year since we first created the Hobonichi Techo. As I reflect on the Hobonichi Techo, I’m starting to think it’s growing out of its own definition as a planner. It’s more than just a schedule book to keep appointments, and it’s not quite a diary, nor is it just a notebook. So I just kind of wonder what it really is.
The first thing I think of is how a user writes about his“Life” in the Hobonichi Techo. Life in a bigger sense, and life in an everyday sense. Turn this into a verb, and you get live, which brings you to all kind of meanings: living in a home, living your life path, and even live in person.
In other words, the word “Life” has two meanings to it: one that’s on a smaller scale, with every little moment, and one that refers to the grander scheme of things. I find it amazing that it can encompass all that. And when I look at people’s techos, I realized the same thing is happening.
If you were to rip out every daily page from your Hobonichi Techo and line it all up on a huge floor, one single day would look like just a single measly page within a huge sea of paper. But maybe one page will say “Ate pork chops today,” and another will say “Had a baby.” And some of the pages will be blank. All of these stand as records of things you personally experienced in your life. And if you stack these all on top of each other like a mille-feuille pastry, you can say, “This is my life.”
I don’t know if this serves as a good example or not, but the other day I read a techo by a professional baseball player who recorded his daily life. I was expecting a professional ball player to be thinking about baseball all the time and writing about it in his techo. But instead, he wrote things like “My dog is so cute,” and “My dog laid on my chest.” No sign of baseball anywhere. (laughs) But all lumped together, that’s who that person is.
Not many people in the world live a life that even sounds like some sort of biography. But living the life that’s written in your techo—working, playing, getting angry, laughing—that’s what it really means to live. And each person’s techo with their life written on the pages, well, that’s your autobiography. It just so happens that you have no way of distributing it to the masses, and each person just has one copy of their own. Maybe someone will want to read your book, and maybe you’ll read back on it in the future. “Book” generally refers to something that has already been printed, but the Hobonichi Techo is a book that’s ready for reading after the fact.
So this is a book that contains each person’s year. It’s a single volume in a vast collection, but there’s something really comforting to know that everyone in the world has one. At the same time, we can feel that everyone in the world deserves to be cherished by someone, and that includes both yourself and others.
So starting today, let’s give the Hobonichi Techo a new definition. It’s a Life Book. You’re the author, and you’re writing this book for the very first time.
As always, the Hobonichi Techo will begin sales on September 1st. I hope we see you soon.