Colored Pencil Info
Tombow Pencil Co., Ltd. was established in Japan in 1913. It is a brand that Japanese children have long used in school. Irojiten is Japanese for Color Encyclopedia. The Irojiten Color Dictionary Pencils come in boxes that resemble books, with 10 pencils in each book. They are labeled by volumes in the Tombow dictionary of color. Each set of pencils contains three volumes. They have some unique colors here, especially the very pale colors. The fluorescence colors would be useful for retro 60's art. The Light Grayish tones are very beautiful and unique.
The pencil exteriors are beautifully made, with a white enameled finish and end caps matching the color of the pencil. The names are a bit small and difficult to read. The pencils have round exteriors. The pencil number is one of the most logical numbering systems that we have seen. P-2 for example is pencil #2 in Pale tone. V-5 is pencil #5 in Vivid tone, D for dark, Vp for very pale, etc.
The pencils in general lay down color fairly well, but some tend to have a few hard spots that cause a bit of a scratchy feel. They do layer pretty well. Because these are not available in open-stock, but only in sets, it makes them more of a novelty item and cool pencils for the collector to have than a serious tool for the artist. However, they are considering open stock and will make a decision within the next few months.
There are no lightfast ratings on the pencils or on any of the accompanying literature.
Tombow Irojiten
Colored Pencils
  • Water resistant colored pencils
  • 90 colors
  • Sets of 30 pencils
  • Pencils are pre-sharpened
  • Made in Japan
  • No open stock
  • Not lightfast rated
Set 1- Rainforest
Volume 1- Pale Tone I
Volume 2- Vivid Tone I
Volume 3- Deep Tone 1
Set 2- Woodlands
Volume 4- Pale Tone II
Volume 5- Deep Tone II
Volume 6- Light Grayish Tone I
Set 3- Seascape
Volume 7- Fluorescence
Volume 8- Very Pale Tone
Volume 9- Dull Tone
The Irojiten's are all completely wax based. 

Color Charts
Set 1- Rainforest
Set 2- Woodlands
Set 3- Seascape