Chalk It Up To Science!


What is the difference between different types of chalk? When writing on a blackboard, do you ever feel a heavenly presence emanating from your hands? You might have been using Hagoromo chalk! It glides like a warm knife through butter, as smooth as the finest silk. But for a time, it was in danger of being lost to the world forever. 


Hagoromo Bungu, the company that produces Hagoromo chalk, was founded in 1932 in Japan as Nihon Chalk Seizosho. The original factory was destroyed in WWII, and the company went down with it. It was then re-established in 1947 as Hagoromo Bungu and re-started production of its legendary chalk. However, in October 2014, the company president, Takayasu Watanabe, released a public statement announcing the company would stop chalk production within the next year due to blackboards no longer being regularly used in classrooms, among other reasons. This news sent many mathematicians and professors around the world into a frenzy, and they began to hoard this chalk. Fortunately, Sejongmall, a retailer in South Korea, bought the rights to the Hagoromo brand and has continued to produce the esteemed chalk. Now, it has been made simple to access Hagoromo chalk, as it is available on Amazon and other websites.


But what makes this chalk so different from all other chalks? For answers, we turned to Mr. Licciardello, a member of the SHS physics department and avid Hagoromo chalk user. He told us that Hagoromo was much easier to hold than other chalks due to its large diameter and wax coating. This wax coating keeps your fingertips safe from being covered in chalk dust as you write, and makes it more comfortable to hold. Mr. Licciardello also states that this chalk writes with the perfect amount of smoothness since other chalks are known to be either too smooth to write with or too uneven to use consistently.


While Hagoromo is more expensive than its competition, it is “easily worth the price,” according to Mr. Licciardello. More importantly, this price difference makes itself known through much more vibrant colors that pop off the board better. They are much easier to see and have higher contrast with the blackboard.


Next time you’re in class, and you see your teacher struggling to use low-grade chalk, recommend him or her Hagoromo chalk! Hagoromo chalk’s wide diameter, wax coating, smooth consistency, and bright colors make it the best chalk to use in almost all settings.