Mastering Calligraphy: The Art and Utility of Bunchin Paperweights

What is a Bunchin?

A bunchin is a paperweight primarily used in calligraphy and document organization. It serves to hold paper steady while writing, ensuring that the paper does not move and thereby helping to avoid mistakes. The term “bunchin” specifically refers to this tool’s weight and stability

History of Bunchin

The history of the bunchin dates back to ancient China, where scholars and calligraphers used heavy objects made of stone or metal to keep their paper in place while writing. These early versions of the bunchin eventually made their way to Japan and other Asian countries. In Japan, bunchin have been in use since the Heian period and have become an integral part of calligraphy culture.

Types of Bunchin

Bunchin come in various types, differing in material, shape, and design. Here are some common types:

  • Metal Bunchin: Made from metals such as iron, brass, or copper. These are durable and have a substantial weight, making them long-lasting.
  • Stone Bunchin: Crafted from natural stones like marble or granite. These bunchin are not only functional but also appreciated for their natural beauty.
  • Ceramic Bunchin: Made using pottery techniques. These bunchin are often artistically designed and can be quite decorative.
  • Wooden Bunchin: Lightweight and easy to handle. They offer a natural wooden texture that many find appealing.

How to Use a Bunchin

Using a bunchin is straightforward. Follow these steps:

  1. Position the Paper: Place your calligraphy paper or documents on a flat surface.
  2. Place the Bunchin: Position the bunchin on the corners or edges of the paper to secure it.
  3. Write or Work: With the paper held firmly in place, proceed with your writing or other tasks.

Choosing the Right Bunchin

When selecting a bunchin, consider the following points:

  • Weight: Choose a weight appropriate for the size and thickness of your paper. A bunchin that is too heavy might be cumbersome, while one that is too light may not hold the paper securely.
  • Material: Select a material based on your needs and preferences, taking into account durability and aesthetics.
  • Design: Besides functionality, a beautifully designed bunchin can enhance the enjoyment of calligraphy.


A bunchin is an essential tool in calligraphy and document organization, playing a crucial role in keeping paper steady. With a rich history and a variety of materials and designs, bunchin are more than just practical items; they are a beloved part of the calligraphy tradition and art.

Whether you are a seasoned calligrapher or just beginning, finding the right bunchin can make your writing experience more enjoyable. Explore the different types available and select one that suits your style and needs, allowing you to fully appreciate the art of calligraphy.