OHTO may be not well known overseas but in Japan they are famous writing instrument and office supply company. In Japan According to their website the company was established in 1929 as a company that sold ink and dye. Since 1950's their major products had become ballpoint pens and, during the 80's they developed ceramic-tipped rollerball pens. Their ballpoing pens and rollerballs are very popular in Japan. Another example of their claim-to-fame products is called Gachack that can "staple" papers without using staples or making holes on papers. However as their company slogan ("Japanese Wriging Power") indicates writing instruments have been their major focus. I hear that fountain pens are gaining popularity among Japanese people (especially among young people who never has used it before). Some people like expensive import pens or high-end Japanese pens, but some people want to try inexpensive pens to see if they like it or not. I think OHTO is targeting people who might try fountain pens but not willing to spend a lot of money. Now they have a few different models of inexpensive fountain pens.
As it's name suggests, Tasche is a pen that is made for carrying in purse or pocket. It is sold for 1000 yen or a little less than $9 in Japan. In the U.S. it is available from JetPen.com for $20. I saw a mechanical pencil version of this pen ealier this year in Japan, but the store was sold out of fountain pens. I really wanted a pink one since I have a small collection of inexpensive pink pens. Then recently I saw a fellow FPNer Betty had it for sale at a price very close to Japanese retail price. So I decided to get it.
When capped it masures only about 10 cm.
When it is open and capped it's almost 15 cm long, enough to write comfortably.
The barrel is made of aluminium and weighs merely 20g. The end where you post the cap has an o-ring so that the cap does not fall of easily. The width of the barrell is very slim-approximately the size of a pencil. It might not be the most comfortable pen to write with for some people.
Because of the length it only takes short international cartridges. I forgot to take a picture without posted but the metal section is long and cartridge protrudes only about 1.2 cm so I doubt if I can use the "Bantam converter", unless I directly dip the converter into ink. However because of it's portability and convenience it does not really bother me that the pen is cartridge only.
The nib is steel that has some scroll work and "Iridium Point Germany". The one I got is somewhat scratchy (depending on the paper I use) but OK. I read on Japanese pen boards that there are a lot of variations-some come with very smooth nibs, and others not so. Also I think sportier looking nib like Lamy Safari-type one would look better on this pen. But considering the retail price in Japan they must be using 'generic" nibs produced by another company, and can't really complain.
Initially I was carrying this pen in a pocket of my purse, but the other day I found a perfect spot for this pen:
It doesn't add any bulk to my wallet, and the length is just right. Also the wallet provide some protection for the pen in my crowded purse.
Overall, I think this pen is not bad at all for $9, especially if you are looking for a small pen to carry around in your purse or pocket. I'm not so sure if I have to pay $20, however. Having said that if I see one in different color in Japan I might get another one. I think the blue one looks nice, too
Edited by Taki, 23 September 2006 - 02:51.