I've been watching Japanese pens for a long time. Initially the Tamenuri Urushi got me. I love maki-e
but most are built in huge pens and in astronomical prices.So my attention diverted to the Urushi lacquering, which, being less expensive was no less beautiful. I got the Tamenuri and as a good addict, once the initial desire was satisfied, I WANTED ANOTHER ONE! I am really thankful that I could purchase this one and the timing was excellent because it is the Last of the Mohicans!
There is a former review of this pen, by Bryan, which has some added elements that make it look different.
I will personally stay away from the grading tendency for every pen I review I find either a 5/5 or 4/5 and this is very subjective! Most of all, I'm not a pen expert! The wood box is very simple and very elegant in lacquered mirror-shiny black with the logo in gold on the lower left.
I even like the detail of the hinges in the box, which are brass (?). The interior is made of a soft light gray felp which is very sensual to the touch. This is already an art piece.
THE MATERIAL, THE PEN
The material is the Wakasa-nuri technique on very lightweight ebonite.
In Fukui prefecture of Japan, Wakasa-nuri employs additional materials such as very fine size eggshells, seashells or pine leaves. The Urushi is then applied onto the surface of the objects, as are gold flakes. The surface is then burnished.
The lacquering is very smooth, still the texture of the organic materials used can be palpated. The reflection of the pen varies depending on the light source whether direct, indirect or dim, giving off many brownish-copperish undertones. A difference from the initial model is the addition of abalone accents and that the pen is less reddish and more burned to a brown.
Being "The last of the Mohicans" the Takumi was the only model I could get. This proved to be an advantage for me for the Mikado was gargantuesque and there was no Densho (later we found out there was NONE but the Takumi). With a clip? I don't mind because it's not the size of Nakata's Long Cigar which is impossible to clip on a pocket, not even in a lab coat!
The clip is gold-plated (?k) with the logo brushed along it.
It is an 18k double-toned ( ) Flexible Fine. It is still in its break-in period so I do not know yet if this will turn out like the "elastic" Nakata nib. It is big but well-proportioned with the rest of the pen. There are some kanji (?) characters. If any of you know what they mean, please POST! It is true the characters are right were I grip the pen, but that doesn't bother me (as opposed to a clip!).
It is silky smooth and has flex and a balanced wet line. This IS a quick starter!
NOT a Densho nor a Mikado, therefore it is C/C. Kevin sent me a Mikado to try and the ED system did not much impress me . I was not in the mood to try to fill (and mess) a pen that was not mine even if it was sent to be tried (I'm too afraid of ruining somebody else's property!), so the c/c was ok with me. After all, I already spent a small fortune on the Nakata Long Cigar that could have well been an ED for the size AND price..... . Besides, again, this was the last of its kind, so....
I like it very much and I'm finding somewhat disappointing that SOME European counterparts are not producing pens that have the quality the Japanese pens are showing in general ( though my Montegrappas have worked ok and the celluloid is beautiful). Please, this is a very subjective opinion!!!
The pen is unique in its art, VERY organic and a true pleasure to look at.
Overall, I find this pen very well made (ok, not an ED), a good writer from the get-go (Kevin tried it before hand)
Edited by MYU, 27 April 2009 - 19:08.