I bought the Nakaya Bamboo Woods shown below at the Baltimore Pen Show in 2019. It immediately became my very favorite Nakaya of the more than 100 I own or have owned.
Last week I was offered the opportunity to purchase another very special Nakaya and of course I accepted. The pen arrived shortly thereafter and ever since I feel like I did the day I first saw my newborn son. Back in those long ago early 1970’s, fathers waited in a waiting room and the newborn babies were brought out from the delivery room in a portable incubator. I still remember taking my first look at my newborn son, only to find that my wife had unexpectedly given birth to identical twins. Lightning strikes twice! Here is my new “happy family”.
On the left, the Nakaya Portable Bamboo Woods and on the right the Nakaya Neo Standard Bamboo Woods.
Throughout their lives so far, though my identical twin sons shared almost (but not quite) identical DNA and genes, each has been unique and wonderful in his own way. The same is true of the two pens.
The most obvious difference is the color of the finish. Nakayas are individually hand finished with many dozens of coats of urushi. In my pair pictured above, the Portable (left) has a dark brown background with markedly contrasting bamboo tree and leaves design. The Neo Standard (right) has a much warmer red-brown tone to the background color, and the design is more subtle in tone with less contrast.
A second easily observed difference is that the Portable has no clip. It is also available with a clip, which on the Portable model would be bright gold plated. The Neo Standard comes standard with a clip which is hand painted to match the background of the pen.
One of the features on both pens I find endearing is that even the blind end of the pen has been adorned with the leaf design.
Another difference is one of the unique features of the Neo Standard design, which to me is a like-dislike affair. The section on the Neo Standard is longer than most other Nakayas, which I like very much. But it also requires more turns to remove or reinstall the cap, which I dislike.
So which do I like better?
I prefer the more dramatic coloration of the Portable to the more subtle tones of the Neo Standard
I prefer the longer section of the Neo Standard
I prefer the fewer turns necessary to remove/reinstall the cap of the Portable
I prefer pens with clips such as the Neo Standard
I prefer the lower price of the Portable
While I’m on the subject of twins, here is another set of recent Limited Editions, though these are more like fraternal twins. Or maybe “brothers from different mothers” is a better description. But that’s story for another day.
I hope you enjoyed the pictures. Thanks for reading!
On the left is the Sailor Blue Wave with Naginata Togi nib and on the right the Eboya Manten.