Searching the DB, I did not find any Genkai review, and this is the main reason for trying to bring this beautiful flattop here, which has been mentioned many times and the only thing that is known is its size... but there is much more and good to know about it.
1.- First Impressions.
Being a daily user of Danitrio Mikado pens it was clear to me that sooner or later the Destiny would knock my door and bring a Genkai into my Danitrio family… Well, this happened almost one year after my first Mikado arrived. I knew that Genkai was a BIG pen… a VERY BIG pen, and this was perhaps the reason for not ordering one before, but we, humans, usually learn by experience and one year ago I didn’t even imagine to carry a Mikado around and perhaps the same may happen to the Genkai.
The pen was ordered by Kevin and as always there was easy, nice, effective and fast communication. The pen arived sooner than expected and the postman asked… another FP sir? … yes, thanks ... Obviously he is becoming used to the parcel format!
Like any other Danitrio Urushi pen, this monster came into its perfectly and shiny wooden box, protected by two external layers, one of foam and the cardboard external box.
When opened, there SHE was, Genkai sleeping peacefully and dressed in her nice kimono. Beside was the eyedropper with which she has her meals… and in the pocket attached to the lid were instructions and usual urushi use warnings. The packing is absolutely gorgeous, which is the rule for Danitrio’s fabulous pens.
2.- Apperance and Finish.
Genkai was ordered in Tamenuri Urushi finish. This is in my opinion the nicest finish Urushi can offer, not because of its color, but for the tone variations throughout all the surface, the ridges and the ends of the pen. Light plays a role and age make the beauty grow. Tamenuri in this pen was found to be a bit lighter than the one I received with my Mikado, both absolute gorgeous. Surface was shiny and absolutely perfect. The barrel seam, where the ED valve is opened was barely perceptible. On uncapping the pen, a section appeared which really was only in my dreams before, where brushes of darker-lighter shades of Urushi were visible. The signature of Kogaku and seal completed this beautiful section. Nib… the same big and spectacular Mikado size nib which I love sooo much and on top of its also perfect ebonite feed which has such a good and proven performance.
3.- Design / Size / Weight.
Danitrio’s Genkai is a flattop big big pen. Such an instrument is not meant to be carried around in your shirt pocket and it would be a crime to put a clip on it, so it is a clipless pen in which the surface is absolutely undisturbed.
The overall length is of 173mm (M1000=146mm) and uncapped a full 153mm (M1000=136mm). Barrel diam is 17mm and cap diam is 19mm; section is conical, decreasing from 13 to 12mm, which is a very comfortable size for normal and big hands.
When one first takes this pen in the hand it feels light taking into account its size. It does not feel heavy at all, thanks to the use of Ebonite as the base material and the care taked in it’s design and manufacture.
CS Dinkie 550, Pelikan 1000 (yes, the BIG one) and Danitrio Genkai...
... and uncapped M1000 and Genkai...
I always think when I hold a Dani in my hand in the countless hours of knowledge and craftmanship which were necessary before the final product reaches my hands. This is why I like to see the artist and artisan signature in my pen… I can see also his face and know that he does not release a pen from his hands till he is not totally satisfied with it. This is the opossite from the many well known “mass produced” limited editions!
4.- Nib Design & Performance.
The hughe nib is the same nib and feed system used in the Mikado. In my case I ordered a Fine nib with which I have my best experiences. It is a 18K-750 two-tone gold nib which is a tad bigger than a Pelikan M1000 nib. This one is a soft nib which can be used with some flex. It is soft like a good dream and writes as juicy as all the Danis I’ve tried. No skipping, starts right on, may be left uncapped for some time and used right away again after the pause.
Not only the nib, but the ebonite feed is the responsible for such a perfect behaviour. The finned feed is hughe and works in my experience much better than the plastic Pelikan 1000 feed.
Despite its size, Genkai feels well balanced in a medium sized hand (mine) .. One does not need to be King Kong to use this pen. Of course this pen is NOT to be used posted!!
5.- The Filling System.
Would you believe me if I tell you that this big pen is a CC filler? No? … then you are right. It is an eyedropper with shutoff valve. By unscrewing the section, which has a rubber gasket seal, the barrel can be filled with no less than 4.3ml, an ink capacity that makes a Pel 1000 get pale beside it. Mikado is near with almost 4ml.
I use to fill it with a syringe, knowing beforehand the volume I want to add, which is an easy and very clean task. There is a rubber gasket in the section in order to warrantee a tight seal when closed.
Once the pen has its ink and the barrel is closed, the shutoff valve opened (in my case, 1 Ľ turns) … the collector and feed fill and Genkai comes into life…
In the next photo, the open end of the barrel shows where the ink comes in and the shutter valve with its own gasket.
6.- Cost / Value.
Genkai is not a cheap pen, but may be cheap if compared to Sailor KOP or Namiki Yukari Royale in Urushi just to mention some of them. The price is absolutely justified by the high quality pen that one becomes for the bucks. It is itself a work of art made by hifhly recognised Maki-e artisan and artist. It is made to reach future generations (if you have a minimal care) … nothing to do with pens made in series. All in one… it is a very good value bearing in mind what you get.
7.- Overall Opinion / Conclusion.
A big pen which one has to learn to use (very easy and natural evolution for a former Mikado user), a very good value for its price (you get more than you pay for), beautiful performance and a dream Tamenuri finish.
If you like Urushi, ED’s and Big pens, This is the one! … it is affordable too!
Genkai and Mikado in Tamenuri side by side...
Thanks for taking your time in reading this review...
... and apologies for my English ... but I try to do my best to share experiences...
Edited for a wrong photography (repeated) now error has been fixed.
Edited by Jopen, 23 October 2008 - 22:07.