Hobonichi 5-Year Techo: The Greatest Hits // A.C.

Hobonichi 5-Year Techo: The Greatest Hits // A.C.

All good planners come to an end, and my Hobonichi 5-Year Techo’s time approaches. Glancing at the sentences of years past whenever I update the diary has been such an interesting, unique experience. Now, in 2023, it’s incredibly satisfying to complete the pages. But it’s a little sad, too. I won’t have such easy, habitual access to these memories after this. That said, I thought it’d be fun to do a Greatest Hits post! Below you’ll find some of the pages I find most interesting to look back on. I tried to pick entries that aren’t too personal, and which I haven’t shared recently (I shared a few food drawings at the end of last year).

January 1. I got into the habit of buying fresh flowers for the dining table at the beginning of the year and drawing them here. It wasn’t intentional that the inks call out colors from the bouquets, but it makes me happy.

January 12. I tried to draw what I was wearing on this day every year. The outfits became decidedly more casual after 2020, haha.

February 9. At a vintage clothing event with friends in 2019, I tried on a black velvet jacket from the 1940s that fit perfectly, but was just a bit out of my budget. Regretfully, I returned it to the rack. One year later, we went to the same event and found the same vendor—and the jacket was still there! This time, I didn’t walk away.

May 12. This is the “A.C. goes out to buy a tasty beverage” day, apparently.

June 3. Can you tell it’s Pride Month? Haha. I tend to use super bright, juicy inks in the hottest weather anyway, but there’s another special reason for the color scheme on this page: when I finished my graphic novel’s script in 2019, I drew the main character in the upper right-hand corner, and chose ink colors to match in subsequent years.

July 1. I made the self-inking stamp design you see here for the Anime Expo Stamp Rally in 2019. It’s interesting to see the variation and fading over time. There isn’t one for 2023 because I lost the stamp when I moved apartments, unfortunately.

July 25. This is my dog Chopper’s birthday. A guaranteed Greatest Hit.

October 20. On this day in 2019, I was just starting to make a habit of walking around the neighborhood to leave peanuts for the local crows. The next year, I sat on the stoop and a few crows flew very close to my head and then circled the house, cawing. I’m 95% sure they were the same crows. This page is very typical of my entries in late fall, which naturally gravitate to gold, brown and black ink colors.

December 24. On this page, if they’re small enough, I save the tags of Emil’s gifts to me. His wrapping is always done with such care, much too beautiful to throw away. If you’ve ever received a package from BK, you probably know what I mean.

Towards the back of the Techo are a series of empty pages for free-writing. There, on the last day of each year, I write a letter to the next. In two or three paragraphs, I reflect on any big takeaways, highlights and growing pains. I judge whether the “word of the year” I chose rang true. And at the end, I take a guess at what lessons or hopes I need to carry forward. What will I write for 2023? I suppose it’s a little early to be thinking about this, but I can’t help it—the past is so present. As I close this book, I’m already thinking about the next five years.

Text and photos by: A.C. Esguerra

Where to find A.C. : instagram @blueludebar

Read other stories by A.C. : Here

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  • Paige: January 21, 2024
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    I have been considering one of these 5 year journals. Your blog posts are lovely and have convinced me it’s something I could do. Thanks!
    Ps – what are the pile of books in the last photo? I love knowing what other journals people use.

  • Eden F Konishi: January 21, 2024
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    Thank you so much for sharing these moments! It’s such an honor getting a peek inside of something that is so personal and such an integral part of your life!

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