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Iroshizuku Momiji


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#1 carpedavid

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 01:13

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Iroshizuku Momiji is currently my favorite ink of all time. I'm a big fan of red ink – though most people consider it too hard to read on an extended basis, I've never had an issue with most of them – and Momiji is currently at the top of my list. It is a deep red ink that falls on the bluish side of the spectrum. According to the manufacturer, Pilot/Namiki, it is intended to evoke the "bright red leaves that are iconic of a Japanese autumn."

While I like the color of Momiji on white paper, I find its appearance on off-white paper to be complex and robust with a barely perceptible level of shading that lends an air of sophistication and depth. Momiji is to other red inks as a fine Cabernet Sauvignon is to grape juice.

Like many other Iroshizuku inks, Momiji is highly saturated – to the point that it tends to temporarily stain the ebonite feed on fountain pens. Fortunately, I’ve never seen it stain permanently – a good rinse with water will take it right off. The other characteristic that I've noticed in several pens is that it tends to clog them when left unattended for a while. I would recommend a good cleansing between fills with Momiji.

On paper, Momiji behaves similarly to Iroshizuku Yama-budo. It flows easily, though it is neither lubricating like Noodler's inks nor overly wet like J. Herbin inks. It exhibits moderate shading with a wide nib, but is fairly consistent in a fine nib. When used with a fine nib, it exhibits little feathering on both Rhodia and Moleskine journal paper, and only minor feathering on the more absorbent Ecosystem paper. Despite its vibrant color, it displays minimal show-through, even on the thin paper of a Moleskine cahier. It behaves quite well on all papers with regard to bleed-through – showing only minimal bleeding on the thinnest of papers.

Unlike Yama-budo, Momiji takes a while to dry. In my tests on Moleskine and Rhodia paper, Momiji took 15 to 20 seconds to dry completely – longer than most other Iroshizuku inks I've reviewed. On more absorbent paper like Ecosystem or standard copy paper, though, it is dry to the touch in less than two seconds. Writing on an incline seems to produce no noticeable increase in drying time compared to writing flat for this ink.

While clearly not a standard color for use in daily business writing, Momiji makes a great highlighting or editing ink. For personal use, it works quite well for journaling and other daily use – it's not too bright to be uncomfortable to read.

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As with the other Iroshizuku inks, Momiji comes in a beautiful, solid, 50 ml bottle that looks great on one’s desk. The bottle has a depression in the base to allow for the last drops to be claimed with ease. The only minor drawback to this ink is the cost – for a comparable volume, Iroshizuku tends to run 50% to 100% more than other inks.

Despite the long drying time and the tendency to be a bit high maintenance in a pen, Momiji is an outstanding and inspiring color that I've never seen reproduced by any other manufacturer. If you can handle its quirks, Iroshizuku Momiji is highly recommended.

A note about the scan (or lack thereof): I normally scan in the written portion of my review and then make very minor adjustments to the brightness to bring the scanned image back into line with the physical version. However, Momiji appears to be impossible to accurately represent with a scan. When scanned in on both scanners I have available to me, the ink turns a bright pink. Thus, I had to resort to a picture taken in natural light.

Review materials: For the wide strokes, I used a Lamy 1.1mm steel calligraphy nib on a Lamy Safari. For the fine strokes, I used a Lamy 14K gold EF nib on a Lamy Studio. The paper is Rhodia 80g.

Edited by carpedavid, 29 April 2010 - 01:14.

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#2 Pepin

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 01:21

Lovely ink with lovely ink bottle with lovely ink bottle ribbon.
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#3 pen2paper

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 02:06

though I have no earthly use for a red, and costly ink..
your review, with composed to delight photos, has me pondering this ink..
but then my hand would never equal the justice that your own has rendered.
Thank You.

emoticon-animal-007.gif~Hi! fountain pen enthusiast here~


#4 lexi0514

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 02:20

Wow, I don't usually like red inks, but this review may make a liar out of me. I have recently jumped on the Iroshizuku bandwagon and considered this one but thought....nah, not a red. Well - I just may have to buy this one nowl. Darn, darn, darn.

Edited by lexi0514, 29 April 2010 - 02:21.


#5 DAYoung

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 02:22

A brilliant review, CarpeDavid - evocative, lucid, tantalising. Thank you.

I'm editing a manuscript with Iroshizuku Fuyu-Gaki, and they sound very similar - except in colour, of course.

Edited by DAYoung, 29 April 2010 - 02:22.

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#6 DAYoung

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 02:23

Wow, I don't usually like red inks, but this review may make a liar out of me. I have recently jumped on the Iroshizuku bandwagon and considered this one but thought....nah, not a red. Well - I just may have to buy this one nowl. Darn, darn, darn.


Well, don't forget the Sweet Persimmon...

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#7 lexi0514

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 02:26

Ok, thanks............maybe I'll just have to get all of them then. Posted Image

#8 geoduc

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 02:44

Nice review, thanks. We just acquired a bottle of momiji but I haven't tried it yet - looks like I need to.

#9 DAYoung

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 02:53

Ok, thanks............maybe I'll just have to get all of them then. Posted Image



Nothing to see here. Move along.

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#10 lexi0514

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 02:55

Oh, what a tease you are............ and it's working~! Posted Image



#11 carpedavid

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 03:04

A brilliant review, CarpeDavid - evocative, lucid, tantalising. Thank you.

I'm editing a manuscript with Iroshizuku Fuyu-Gaki, and they sound very similar - except in colour, of course.


Thanks, Damon. I read your feature at the Exaclair Writer's Project, and it certainly makes me want to pick up a bottle of Fuyu-Gaki.

Dave
seize the dave - a little bit about a lot of stuff: ink reviews, poetry, short fiction, and more
my ink reviews

#12 DAYoung

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 03:05

Oh, what a tease you are............ and it's working~! Posted Image



Just call me Socratease.
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#13 lexi0514

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 03:07

Oh, what a tease you are............ and it's working~! Posted Image



Just call me Socratease.



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#14 DAYoung

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 03:07

A brilliant review, CarpeDavid - evocative, lucid, tantalising. Thank you.

I'm editing a manuscript with Iroshizuku Fuyu-Gaki, and they sound very similar - except in colour, of course.


Thanks, Damon. I read your feature at the Exaclair Writer's Project, and it certainly makes me want to pick up a bottle of Fuyu-Gaki.

Dave


Glad to hear it. Fuyu-Gaki and Clairefontaine make a wonderful combination. Like two smooth robots combining to make EXTRA SMOOTH VOLTRON POWER EXTREME.

(Apologies to all who missed that 80s cartoon reference.)
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#15 smwknits

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 03:50

Momoji is my first Iroshizuku ink, and I'm not sure I like the color. I might like Sweet Persimmon better. I was interested in your comment that other Iroshizuku colors may dry faster, as that's a concern for lefties. But I have to say your review is a work of art! Thank you.

#16 Ed Ronax

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 12:29

I really like Iroshizuku inks and agree with you on the cost, unfortunatly due to non distributor in UK my only choice is to go to Japan, take away the shipping costs and the ink isn't too bad.
This is a nice colour though not on my want list yet, unfortunatly I find them all nice.
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#17 Sonnet

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 12:51

A brilliant review, CarpeDavid - evocative, lucid, tantalising. Thank you.

I'm editing a manuscript with Iroshizuku Fuyu-Gaki, and they sound very similar - except in colour, of course.


Thanks, Damon. I read your feature at the Exaclair Writer's Project, and it certainly makes me want to pick up a bottle of Fuyu-Gaki.

Dave


Glad to hear it. Fuyu-Gaki and Clairefontaine make a wonderful combination. Like two smooth robots combining to make EXTRA SMOOTH VOLTRON POWER EXTREME.

(Apologies to all who missed that 80s cartoon reference.)


Oh, Voltron. I used to watch that show all the time. Then Power Rangers came out in the mid-90s and even then, my 10-year old self could tell it was a Voltron rip-off. (But I still watched it anyway).
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#18 Vincent1278

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 13:01

I think the Momiji is my favorite red ink

For those on a budget, the J. Herbin Rouge Caroubier is somewhere between the Fuyu-Gaki and the Momiji colors, for about $9

Edited by Vincent1278, 29 April 2010 - 13:01.

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#19 fabrimedeiros

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 17:32

Nice review! I like your handwrite!!

Thanks



#20 SamCapote

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 18:04

Great review and comments. Thanks
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