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  1. This is the Danitrio Hyotan special edition maki-e F-49 Blue Dragon LE. Hyotan refers to the water gourd and the pen clearly mimics the Calabash shape. Due to its curvaceous nature the Hyotan has been dubbed the “Mae West”. One might think the pen awkward to grip but that is not so, it settles nicely in the hand and is a good writer. Lots of pens write well though. The standout feature of this pen is clearly the large, detailed maki-e dragon and it’s a beauty. Normally, this dragon is featured on larger pens like the Mikado and Genkai along with a more involved maki-e design. This pen brings the central figure down to a more accessible price point. Relatively accessible that is. Dragons are common features of traditional Japanese (and Chinese etc.) artwork. Sometimes it is said that the number of toes or the horns has some meaning, and this may be so here, but for the most part one cannot distinguish Japanese and Chinese dragons by these features. Japanese dragons are often water dragons but can exist in the clouds. Unlike Chinese dragons, Japanese dragons can be good or bad. Chinese dragons are basically benevolent. I really wish I knew the back story on this dragon; there is definitely a story here, something cultured and cultural. Regardless, the multifold maki-e techniques are a joy to study and the sophisticated artistic sensibility is moving. It really is an impressive piece of work. For Danitrio this is a medium sized pen but fully qualifies as large. Since the base is ebonite it’s not heavy. I reckon one could force the pen to post but that would be foolish. Posting would eventually disfigure the maki-e finish and that would be a tragedy. The 18k #6 nib is supplied by a plastic feed and a cartridge converter. These Buddhist flame style nibs are a bit soft sometimes bordering on springy. This one is a little bit soft and while it writes a nice consistent line it tends to make some noise, kind of like a squeaky sound. Odd but not off putting. The artist is Yuji Ohkado and this is the only pen I have from him. I’d say it’s a pretty good start ha ha!
  2. Here are pics of my latest pen, the Sailor King of Pen with Sakura Nagare maki-e. Lots of raden and gold dust. My 6 year old daughter really likes it. I really like it. Has a broad nib. Writes okay if I give it some pressure at a lower angle than what is natural for me. Need to work it myself or perhaps seek out a nib meister although usually do my own nib work for the past decade or so. While the writing performance is not ideal for me the pen is still a stunner and after adjustment should make for an excellent pen because the KOP is an excellent pen. Packaging is premium and everything about the pen is just luxurious. One cool thing is that the raden is raised up and also wet looking. This is all very poetic what with the images of freshly fallen cherry blossoms floating downstream. I've never seen that but I'm sure it's beautiful. This pen is bit louder than my other KOP pens, ha ha, but feels right at home with my Pelikan M1000 Raden Green Ray. IMG_5162 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_5163 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_5164 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_5165 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_5166 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_5167 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_5168 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_5169 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_5170 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_5171 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_5172 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_5173 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_5174 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_5177 by Ja Ja, on Flickr
  3. This is an old pen from the 1990's that is new to me. Condition is outstanding. The workmanship is really beyond. This is a Sailor Long Profit model, likely from the Koshyu Shitsugei series. It is called the 清照 - "Kiyoteru" or "Seiteru". The totally amazing maki-e work was evidently done by Otomaru Koda, the inventor of the choshitsu engraved lacquer technique used on the pen, and a National Treasure. The urushi is composed of many thick layers that is carved down to reveal concentric multi-colored layers. The carving is deep, it can be seen and felt. It is beautiful to say the least. The pen next to the Sailor is a Wancher Dream Pen in midori urushi. IMG_5022 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_5023 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_5026 by Ja Ja, on Flickr Also pictured is my Danitrio with kamakura-bori carving. Compared to the Sailor the carving on the Danitrio is simple. IMG_5025 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_5024 by Ja Ja, on Flickr The nib was made by Nagahara Sr. It is his invention, the naginata-togi with emperor overfeed. The nib is perfect, sublime. Perfect writing with typical feedback. IMG_5036 by Ja Ja, on Flickr Packaging is a Paulowina wood box typical of Japanese craft items. IMG_5031 by Ja Ja, on Flickr
  4. Here is my new Pelikan M1000 Raden Green Ray. This pen was announced to some fanfare. Certainly, the pen deserves some fanfare. As an M1000 it makes a statement as a flagship writing instrument and as a maki-e M1000 it becomes art. What is missing, however, is a story. There is no backstory, no narrative of the conceptualization. The artist remains obscure. The techniques a mystery. Much of that is not unusual for maki-e work, but this is 2020 and brands need to tell stories. Made in only 400 copies due to the nature of material and technique each is really a piece unique. My is 333 making it only half evil. IMG_4994 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_4972 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_4984 by Ja Ja, on Flickr What I believe is that Pelikan decided to make the definitive raden statement piece. A heavyweight knockout punch in Australian abalone shell. The tableau of the M1000 is large enough but Pelikan decided to inlay enormous, unbroken, mega wide (>2 mm) stripes of perfectly sharply cut shell the likes of which I've never seen. Pelikan and the aritst are screaming look what we've done! This pen lays down the raden law. IMG_4975 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_4974 by Ja Ja, on Flickr Remarkably, the pen retains a feeling of smoothness despite the huge, wide raden inlay. The urushi is thick. You can see it rise up from the level of the ink window. This version of the M1000 has a diameter over 1 mm greater than a standard M1000, a difference that is seen and felt. It's a muscular M1000. Otherwise, it handles and writes like any other M1000. Mine has a Fine nib and writes the expected smooth, wet line. There is no babies bottom as is sometimes found on Pelikan nibs. IMG_4982 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_4996 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_4977 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_4978 by Ja Ja, on Flickr Packaging is simple but nicely done. The Paulownia wood box is typical of Japanese craft art and is labeled with the name of pen in the center but the rest of the script could not be translated by my Google phone app. IMG_4989 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_4991 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_4993 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_4995 by Ja Ja, on Flickr My other raden pens pale in comparison to this Green Ray. The Platinum Izumo Aurora also features super wide (~2 mm) raden inlay but the Green Ray stripes are wider and more perfectly cut. The Izumo is a superb pen, it just lacks the perfection of the M1000. My Bokumondoh custom M600 raden Aurora is lovely and eye catching but there is no comparison with the excellence of the M1000. With these pens as comparison pieces the artistry of the Green Ray shines brightly and the price, in comparison is justified. IMG_4997 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_4998 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_4999 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_5001 by Ja Ja, on Flickr
  5. em_the_pen

    Platinum Id

    I saw this pen on eBay a year or so back and just barely lost the auction. I am particularly drawn to this maki-e design. I've been looking since but have never seen another. It probably doesn't help that I was never able to learn the official name of the pen as it was not included in the listing. If anyone knows anything more, I'd really appreciate any information. Thanks!
  6. The press release was announced: see here Seems to be 7 unique colored inks and pens for the 7 gods of fortune and a Emperor Mt. Fuji Pen. http://www.pilot.co.jp/press_release/%E4%B8%83%E7%A6%8F%E7%A5%9E%28511%29.jpg http://www.pilot.co.jp/press_release/PILOT_MARUKAN_0509%28511%29.jpg http://www.pilot.co.jp/press_release/%E5%AF%8C%E5%A3%AB%2C%E5%AF%8C%E5%A3%AB%E3%81%A8%E6%98%8E%E6%B2%BB%E4%B8%B8_%E5%B0%8F.jpg
  7. jandrese

    Danitrio Hyotan Dragon Flower

    How does one come up with superlatives to describe something? What I’ve got here almost belies description; it must be experienced. This is a Danitrio Hyotan or calabash/gourd shaped pen with dragon and flower maki-e. I don’t even really know the real name of the pen or the model number. The artist is Kogaku and I’ve two other magnificent pens by him but this one is beyond. Like my new flat top Mikado the base is shu-tamenuri but that is where similarities end save the quality of the work. IMG_2897 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_2903 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_2906 by Ja Ja, on Flickr On the cap there is a cloud dragon. I assume that because there is a dragon and some clouds. The dragon is a large piece of contoured maki-e work that utilizes a gold powder so fine individual particles cannot be made out with the naked eye with what appears to be a raden eye. The clouds are bordered in gold and filled with finely grained silver powder for extra sparkle and texture. So now we are up to two or three different metal powders and many coats of urushi of different color/composition. IMG_2904 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_2900 by Ja Ja, on Flickr The body has a flower motif rendering what I believe is Tsubaki or Camelia, but I could be wrong. One flower appears more “realistic” whereas the other one appears to be symbolic of something perhaps a Buddhist symbol, or not. Anyway, it is a (symbolic?) flower encircled by symbolic waves. The whole of the flower uses at least 5 different sizes of metal powders of gold and what appears to be copper and at least two difference colors/compositions of urushi including green and red. There is also raden on each flower. The amount of work here is astonishing. IMG_2899 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_2902 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_2901 by Ja Ja, on Flickr Almost forgot this was a pen. It sports a #6 “Buddhist flame” nib and plastic feed that is supplied by a CC filer. I like a CC filler on Danitrio pens. It means that I get to change inks more often. This is a broad nib and an excellent writer with just the barest amount of pressure. Ink glides across the page. IMG_2905 by Ja Ja, on Flickr The packaging is old school Danitrio in that the pen comes in a fabric pouch encased in a large, mirror black lacquered box. It’s not urushi but it looks great and feels substantial, special, and presents this pen as an occasion. The only other Danitrio pen I have that came with this big box is my very first from four years ago, which is just (just!) a tamenuri finished Mikado. All the others have come in simple Paulownia wood boxes, even the maki-e pens. Not sure what dictates the packaging. IMG_2896 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_2893 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_2894 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_2895 by Ja Ja, on Flickr
  8. This is a brief post to share a really pretty urushi pen from Taccia. Done in yakumo nuri or thick cloud lacquer the blue base and golden clouds really sings. This is an attractive and very photogenic pen. As is the case with all these Taccia Reserve LE based pens it is also a great writer with their Sailor nibs. The music stub feeds from a CC and writes a wide, well controlled somewhat wet line. The cap has a slip n seal mechanism so can leave unattended for some time and will still write right away. While not slated for production there are some other colors still available at Chatterly. IMG_2725 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_2726 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_2727 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_2728 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_2729 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_2733 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_2736 by Ja Ja, on Flickr
  9. This review is more of a pictorial representation of a pen that I believe is not represented well on the internet. Some months ago I fell for a maki-e technique called byakudan-nuri. See my other post on a Danitrio with a similar finish. Here is what Platinum has to say about this pen. "Byakudan-nuri is named from its body color changing overtime being similar to Byakudan incense wood (sandalwood) used in Kodo (traditional incense ceremony). The traditional Japanese technique has been passed on through generations.Yakumo, the floating clouds painted on the ceiling of Izumo Shrine, is used as a motif. The arising sea of clouds and the sky are painted on the barrel. It is a fountain pen featured in deep color of makie providing a mystic impression." IMG_2622 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_2625 by Ja Ja, on Flickr Anyway, byakudan-nuri is a neat maki-e technique that looks rather unassuming until you get it in the light and then it appears to glow from within. It’s a sophisticated aesthetic. IMG_2626 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_2627 by Ja Ja, on Flickr I was drawn to this particular pen but, to be frank, it appeared, based on online photos, that the quality of the maki-e left something to be desired. Consequently, I never pulled the trigger. Once I got the Danitrio, however, I knew I had to take a chance on this pen. Boy am I glad I did. IMG_2630 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_2632 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_2633 by Ja Ja, on Flickr This pen is a stunner and references an interesting temple that is periodically rebuilt so it has a cool back story. There is visual and tactile maki-e over a byakudan base so there is a little more going on than with the Danitrio I also posted about. The byakudan-nuri here has a slightly different effect (copper foil versus gold dust basement?) but it still has that magical inner glow. I hope you get a good sense of the beauty of this pen here, I really tried to capture it better than anything else I’ve seen online. IMG_2623 by Ja Ja, on Flickr I ordered the pen with a cosu or course nib, which is really a fat almost double broad. It’s a fun nib and the pen is a perfect writer; I mean freaking magical. There is no real line variation, it just writes a juicy consistent line the first time every time. The nib is very stiff but no pressure is needed at all so it does not matter. I just love the Izumo pens, they are totally amazing and I think under appreciated. There are three Izumo in my collection now and each is its own version of writing perfection. IMG_2628 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_2629 by Ja Ja, on Flickr writing samples by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_2634 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_2635 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_2636 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_2638 by Ja Ja, on Flickr
  10. This is a Danitrio Takumi pen with byakudan-nuri or sandalwood maki-e with the design of shishi (Chinese) or perhaps komaniu (Japanese version). These are the the so called lion-dogs or lion-like creatures that guard things like shrines and tombs. They are always represented in pairs, yin and yang. In this case I reckon the male is on the cap with his mouth open and the female on the pen body with her mouth closed. IMG_2642 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_2646 by Ja Ja, on Flickr Despite having turned into a collector of urushi and maki-e pens, especially Danitrio pens, I was first introduced to byakudan-nuri by a watch, the superb 2018 Seiko Presage limited edition Presage Ururshi Byakudan-nuri SPB085. The subdials on that watch have an inner glow thanks to the byakudan-nuri technique of using semi-transparent urushi over a gold/sliver/copper foil/very fine metal dust base. Sure, I had seen byakudan-nuri pens before, Danitrio in person, Nakaya online, and Platinum online but I guess I was not ready for that finish until now. Supposedly, the byakudan-nuri technique was reserved exclusively for use in places and on objects of high status, including temples, shrines and on the armor of Shogun warlords. Well, if that’s true my tastes, which are that of a commoner, took some time to catch up. IMG_2641 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_2640 by Ja Ja, on Flickr It’s easy to forget that the Takumi is a big pen on the order of a Pelikan M1000. Many Danitrio pens and indeed other high end urushi pens are as large or larger but the Takumi has a manageable size and weight. Due to the ebonite construction the weight is not much at all and the #6 gold nib is well suited to long writing sessions. IMG_2639 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_2637 by Ja Ja, on Flickr From a distance the smooth glossy finish is a bit brown and unassuming. Up close the features nearly explode seemingly with a light from within. With a little sensitivity this finish is remarkably beautiful and enjoyable. I like the finish so much I turned around immediately and bought a Platinum Izumo with byakudan-nuri that I was on the fence about. I care to know who painted my Danitrio pens but I cannot match the signature to craftsman despite having the Danitrio maki-e book that shows the signature of most of their artists. Nor can I find a reference online. Same person made my other Takumi so if you recognize the signature and know the artist please comment below. IMG_2645 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_2644 by Ja Ja, on Flickr When I bought the pen I had the fine nib swapped for stub. In this case a RS “flame” nib that are/were made by Bock for Danitrio. RS is for regular stub so there is no appreciable flex or even softness. That said, it is not a nail either, there is some give if you press down some. The pen was a bit of a hard starter at first whereby I had to press down harder than I wanted to to get the ink to flow. This behavior is a clear sign of the tines too tight so I gently faired the nib to spread the tines a tiny amount and viola it writes beautifully now. Ink flow is just right, not too little, not too much and the line variation has about a three-fold difference between down and cross-strokes. Very nice. IMG_2647 by Ja Ja, on Flickr writing samples by Ja Ja, on Flickr In short this is a beautiful, functional, and nicely sized pen that should age very gracefully. Highly recommended. Indeed, I hope Danitrio will be with us long term.
  11. This is my first Namiki Nippon Art series pen. I like my Pilot Seirei-nuri pen so much I went for the Namiki branded sibling in the Nippon Art Golden Pheasant. This pen is billed as being hira maki-e and is produced, and is signed by the Pilot/Namiki workshop. For the price somehow I doubt this is 100% hand done, but it does not really matter. It is an urushi craft, I like the big beautiful design, and it writes very nicely indeed. The writing experience is very similar to the preternaturally perfect Seirei-nuri but the Namiki comes with a CON-70 converter and a Namiki branded nib. Otherwise, at heart it is essentially identical to the Pilot. FWIW I purchased the pen from Pilot's Amazon listing for a good price and Prime shipping. IMG_1910 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_1907 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_1911 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_1912 by Ja Ja, on Flickr Medium nib writes and unvarying line the first time every time with just slightly more ink flow than is absolutely necessary. Luxury is about getting more than you need and in this case lux is a pen that just writes a beautiful line. IMG_1909 by Ja Ja, on Flickr Felt in the cap for safe posting (?). I don't post urushi pens. IMG_1913 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_1914 by Ja Ja, on Flickr Will see about getting more pens from the series.
  12. WillyVanDerKuijlen

    How To Remove Namiki/pilot Maki-E Pen Clip?

    For Namiki/Pilot no.5 size(such as many Nippon Art) fountain pen (you can see a gold metal ring in this pen end) it has the similar body type as pilot 74 or 912, you can directly screw it and it can disassembly easily. But for Namiki/Pilot No.20 size pen its structure is so complex that I cannot find a way to screw. However, I still want to know the way to disassembly Namiki/Pilot No.10 size(such as yukari type) pen cap and clip, is any way can find out or any tool can be recommended?Thanks a lot!
  13. This is my new Platinum Izumo Aurora raden maki-e with broad nib. This pen was released in 2016 officially named the Hon-urushi Raden Maki-e Aurora with magnificence of natural phenomenon drawn on the body in traditional maki-e style. Link to the press release. The raden work on this pen is amazing and dazzling in equal measure. The large size of the inlay and the large size of the pen ensure this blazes from across the room. There are several shell colors including yellow that for some reason I find really appealing probably because it seems less common. As we know the pen is large and does not post but there is no need to post. The grip section is smartly designed for writing comfort and the weight is moderated by the ebonite construction. The President nib is a very good and consistent writer. There is no line variation, no flex, and the ink flow is steadily sufficient. This pen just writes a nice line the first time every time; how boring :-). Some people evidently think the nib is undersized for the pen. Well, perhaps, unless you really consider the grip section and writing comfort. I didn't realize before that fountain pen peeps were such size queens. _DSC3219 by Ja Ja, on Flickr _DSC3220 by Ja Ja, on Flickr _DSC3222 by Ja Ja, on Flickr _DSC3226 by Ja Ja, on Flickr _DSC3227 by Ja Ja, on Flickr I found a pen with a similar Aizu urushi raden maki-e in the book Fountain Pens of Japan so it seems this design is either common, traditional, or an homage. The pen is signed but Platinum does not make it easy to know just who the artist was, but I would like to know. There is a nice wooden box, a pen sleeve, some ink cartridges, and a bottle of ink in the package. It's a nice presentation for what is an expensive pen. IMG_1687 by Ja Ja, on Flickr _DSC3223 by Ja Ja, on Flickr _DSC3225 by Ja Ja, on Flickr My other Izumo is the Kurikara-ken Maki-e. Both are spectacular works of art. Both are comfortable to hold and use. Both have broad nibs that always work without fuss or flourish. Compared to other urushi pens the Izumo prices range from good value for the money (eg the tamenuri pens) to questionable (my Raden model). Generally, however, compared to other urushi works the Izumo is less expensive but just as good. In terms of writing quality these are Platinum, which means the just write. No flex, nothing fancy, they just work, which is as undervalued as it is reassuring. In my opinion not all the Izumo maki-e models are worthwhile but most are and the tamenuri models are a very good value. _DSC3228 by Ja Ja, on Flickr _DSC3229 by Ja Ja, on Flickr writing sample by Ja Ja, on Flickr
  14. It's been a while (years in fact) since I've dipped into the fountain pen world but I'm here today with a brief review of a recent purchase from Goulet Pens--the Namiki Yukari Herb Decoration pen with M nib. More details ahead~ First Impressions – The Namiki Yukari Herb Decoration came in a very prettily packaged paper box that cleverly left an "open side" so you don't have to struggle to free the wooden box within: p1 by Jadie, on Flickr p2 by Jadie, on Flickr Inside you have the usual user care guide along with a lifetime warranty card and a Namiki booklet. The foam padding rests perfectly above the cap of the bottled ink. p3 by Jadie, on Flickr Everything is packaged very nicely and wrapped in plastic atop a red velvet base. I appreciate how they plastic-wrapped the ink bottle too in case of unforeseen leaks. p4 by Jadie, on Flickr Here's the pen disassembled. In addition to a free ink cartridge, the Namiki Yukari Herb Decoration comes with a push-button filler, which worked like a charm. More on that below. p6 by Jadie, on Flickr Appearance & Design (9) – If you want the good photos, check out Brian's pics at Gouletpens. Under normal office lighting the pen simply looks "black" with maki-e designs. The raden bits behind the flower/herb bunches glitter very nicely and the designs have a "raised" texture to them, which some might find distracting but which I find wonderful as a tactile sensation. Everything fits very well--there's a velvet lining in the cap so you can post your pen, and the ball-shaped clip holds on firmly to paper when needed. One thing that bothers me is that the maki-e on the body is covered by the pen cap when you close the pen. D: This is a pen that looks great uncapped but that tiny detail bothers me the slightest bit. I keep worrying I'll rub off the design if time goes on... p10 by Jadie, on Flickr Comparisons of the pen capped (above) and uncapped (below). I adjusted brightness on these two photos so you can see where the overlap occurs. p11 by Jadie, on Flickr I'm not sure if this was an intentional design choice, or if the base design of the Yukari made it impossible to harmonize the pen design and the cap, but because of that I give it less than a perfect 10. Construction & Quality (10) – A solid, seamless work. What you see is what you get. The barrel threads are crisp and exceptionally clean (inside barrel threads too!) and the lacquer work is immaculate. It does tend to attract fingerprints; but then again, what urushi doesn't. = u = I love how the clip fits into a slot on the side of the cap so well that it might as well have floated out of urushi. I also appreciate how there's no loose bits of plastic, ebonite, or what have you that I need to brush off, which has been the case in some other pens I've bought. This one looks like it walked right off the presses without a single hair out of place. Weight & Dimensions (8) – The Namiki Yukari, when capped, weighs 33g or the same weight as a capped Visconti Rembrandt, my first fountain pen. I had to return my Visconti because it was too heavy to write with, so I had reservations about the Namiki. Fortunately, it is much more manageable (and shall we say balanced?), and the nib writes effortlessly against the paper with no weight. The brass elements are all hidden beneath the pretty lacquerwork so you only see and feel nice smooth urushi when you write. You can still feel the weight against the web of your hand when you write tho, and that does get noticeable after a while for someone with small hands who loves light pens (18g or less, while the Namiki is 19g uncapped and unfilled). For the sake of something so beautiful, I'm willing to shoulder the burden of longer writing sessions just because it's comfortable to write with. Posting the cap makes it noticeably back heavy, so I think smaller hand writers like me should just write with it unposted. Pretty sure most people will have no issues with this pen's weight, I'm just weak in my fingers. = u = Nib & Performance (9.5) – I bought this pen with one of Namiki's standard medium nib and tested it using Kobe #19 Minatogawa Lime ink. In terms of line thickness I'd say it's a hair thinner than a Western medium you'd find on the likes of Montblanc or other European brands. The nib itself is fairly firm, with the faintest hint of give when pressed on--so I'd classify it as "slightly springy." I'm a light writer, so it takes effort for me to achieve flex on stiff nibs. This one to me feels just right--I don't like nibs that are completely stiff. p9 by Jadie, on Flickr It's also different from other nibs I've tried before (Danitrio, Edison, various Pilots, Aurora). All of them the brands mentioned there are smooth writers, but to different degrees. I've had glass-smooth, stiff Pilots, buttery wet Auroras, and ice-skating Danitrios, but you'll see that I mention the Namiki nib writes like a very fine knife cutting through a very smooth piece of daikon. There's a bit of "noise" as the nib glides over paper, but no scratchiness; it's a weirdly smooth sensation that I've never experienced before and like quite well. This is a nib I'm happy with right out of the box and I think I'll keep it this way, since it has a tactile writing feel I've never felt before. Writing wise it leans towards the slightly wet side--again, not too much and not too little. I have a feeling I'm in Goldilocks and the Three Bears and Namiki keeps being the bed, porridge, and chair that fits just right, haha. It's a thin line to walk, so I'm impressed they've hit all the right corners! The only reason I've given it 9.5 instead of 10 is because I prefer softer nibs, and this one is soundly in the category of "just springy." Don't expect much line variation, but it definitely hasn't skipped! Filling System & Maintenance (10) - The Namiki Yukari came with both a catridge convertor and a Pilot push-button filler, which I've never tried before. Instructions included in the pen package said all it took was ~5 pushes of the nib dipped in ink up to the breather hole to completely fill the pen. I took around 6~7 pumps, probably because my ink bottle was running a little low. But yes, it works like a charm and fills it up quite well! I expect cleaning it will be equally hassle free if it sucks up liquid so well. p7 by Jadie, on Flickr p8 by Jadie, on Flickr All that black stuff in the tube is ink, yes. I made quite some bubbles in the bottle filling it up, but it was a hassle free and enjoyable experience. Cost & Value (10) – I was first enamored by this pen courtesy of Brian's amazing high-res photos back on Goulet and the actual article doesn't disappoint. I ended up buying it for the listed price on their site as well. There are a lot of details (better expressed in Goulet's photos) that my phone camera can't do justice to here in office lighting. Knowing that someone had the patience to hand paint layer after layers of the threads and flower petals on the pen, then stick in pieces of raden individually, really makes me appreciate the craftsmanship and value. p5 by Jadie, on Flickr I will say that I've paid slightly less for a similar, custom-ordered maki-e pen with similar levels of complexity and consider this a fair value for the cost. Of course, I wouldn't mind getting it cheaper, but it's definitely beautiful for what it is. The entire silhouette of the pen speaks of seamless grace. If I had a bigger budget, I would've gone for their Apricot Tree and Warbler too... Conclusion (Final score, 56.5/60) - I like to buy pens I use, so this is going to be part of my daily writers collection as I ease back into using FPs again. I think I'll keep it with the Minatogawa Lime ink because I like the green and it matches the flowers. I really, really like the feel of the nib--that indescribably smoothness that feels crisp without being scratchy, and though I'd prefer it to be lighter I can deal with a bit of weight. Now I'm just repeating myself... Namiki is worth its reputation, and its pens have their own unspeakable charm. It's not anything obvious, but the sum of various subtle, tiny details that add up to make the difference.
  15. NotAWiz4rd

    Platinum 3776 Maki-E

    I'm currently eyeing a Platinum 3776 Century Maki-e Sansui. I wasn't able to find a lot of reviews or info on this pen. Does anyone here have experience with the pen? Is it worth the extra money over the Platinum Kanazawa? How does the artwork hold up over several years of use? Are there any specific reasons (except design) to choose the Platinum over the Sailor/Pilot equivalents (or the other way around)?
  16. Hello, I've been a collector of Namiki pens for awhile, and I I just purchased my first Emperor. This is my first eyedropper pen, and although I understand the mechanism to fill, I am concerned that using silicon grease may hurt the Maki-e. Anyone with experience on using this pen? Thank you, Halee
  17. Hello, I have been lurking for a few years, and have a small collection of German and Italian pens that I use daily-- Im a writer. I have become increasingly convinced that I need a Namiki pen and have looked at both the Emperor and the Yukari Royale line. May I get advice on: 1. Useablity-- which one is a better daily use pen 2. Good places to find a used pen (besides Ebay) at a fair price 3. Best vendors if I chose to purchase a new pen 4. What else I need to know Thank you, Maya
  18. Just picked up this Danitrio Cosmos (Choo) by Kenji Yamamoto. Marugane chirashi, raden, hirame-ji, and kingi maki-e. The section is stamped Grand Trio, which is the name the Hyotan model used to go by I believe. Amazing pen, super hard to photograph. I've been wanting an example of this artists work for some time. Good writer and gorgeous. This is an older model but I picked it up new and the LE number is 1/50. IMG_1527 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_1528 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_1529 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_1530 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_1531 by Ja Ja, on Flickr danitrio Cosmos by Ja Ja, on Flickr
  19. https://www.cultpens.com/i/q/PT24237/platinum-kanazawa-haku-fountain-pen-changing-autumn-leaves I bought one of these recently, but as I waiting for it to arrive, does anyone have any experience with these? I don't own any maki-e pens yet so I thought this would be a good entry-level maki-e before I decide to spend more.
  20. I am tempted to buy Sailor 1911 Maki-e Momiji. I found one online for £400 which I think is a great price if its real maki-e. On the other hand, if its modern maki-e it would be a bit of a ripoff. Does anyone know what type of makie it is?
  21. Here is a look at my Pilot 100th Anniversary Meiji-Maru. This is the Yukari size pen and there were "only" 800 pieces worldwide. Some vitriol has been directed towards Pilot regarding their anniversary offerings. Setting that aside this is a really nice pen. The design is meaningful for Pilot and is straightforward enough for foreigners to understand. There may not be many of these pens available still from ADs. I found one on eBay today at a speculative price of $2600 so it seems I've made a good investment ha ha. Previously, in these pages member Sidd posted his pen and the packaging so please visit his post to see the packaging. For a maki-e pen this represents good value at MSRP. The maki-e on this pen is really well done, almost to the point of looking artificial, but it was handmade. The details and consistency of the artwork is impressive. Of note is the urushi color. This is a darkish blue that is distinctive in my collection. I reckon Pilot worked up this color specifically for this pen. The base color is not "simply" roiro-magaki, there appears to be fine gold (silver?) dust throughout the base color. It does not sparkle per se but it does pop out some. The Yukari size is not a large pen but it's not small either. I find it comfortable to write with. The body is brass and has some heft without being heavy. The blue in this pen really makes the Taccia blue urushi appear bright. Fills via cartridge converter. Ink flow is perfect and ink capacity is plentiful. Note the section and the threads the cap screws onto are plastic. The color is a good match but not perfect. The ship the founders served on, the Meiji-Maru. It's on display in Japan and open for visitors. The artwork has energy. Mt. Fuji Pen is signed Kokkukai, which is guild that does urushi work for Pilot. I don't have a Emperor with maki-e but I suspect Pilot's way is to not have individual artists sign. This is probably the work of several artists anyway each with their own speciality. Urushi Japan, as if we did not know ha ha. This is a medium nib and it writes a perfect line the first time every time. A solid reliable writer. What more could one ask for? Ink is Kobe #51 Kano-cho midnight blue not Bungubox! I was confused. Anway, it's a nice compliment to the pen color. I feel fortunate to have gotten this pen.
  22. Hi all, I am really excited to share pictures of the pilot pen I received in mail this morning! I had reached to multiple vendors across Europe and finally found one piece at Stilograph Corsani. Hope you enjoy it. Let me know your thoughts! Cheers, Sidd
  23. jandrese

    Pilot Maki-E Seirei-Nuri

    Here is my Pilot Maki-e Seirei-nuri pen that I purchased at Itoya in Ginza, Tokyo. I had not ever seen this design before in person and was quite smitten. Of course, there were many amazing pens and maki-e pens to boot at Itoya but this is what I walked out with. This design is made thus, which is a clever technique of floating urushi in water. Pilot has a long history making pens using this technique usually done with a black or red background and gold maki-e gossamer on top. Danitrio has done this. Edison pens has done this. Not sure about Sailor, Platinum, Nakaya, etc. but Pilot seems to the de facto owner of the technique. Usually, it is translated as dragonfly wing design, and that is hard to argue, but the mayfly wing is also a candidate. The dragonfly is especially meaningful in Japan but the mayfly is also famous in Japan going back at least to the 11th century and the Tale of Genji. Regardless it’s a lovely and totally unique pen as no two can ever be the same. The nib was expertly adjusted by the resident meister at Itoya and it is freaking perfect. Like, perfect. Just a light touch is needed for generous but far from gushing ink flow. The nib has the faintest hint of feedback without being intrusive. The lady working there is a savant! Signed by the Pilot/Namiki Kokkoukai urushi guild this is a bit of fountain pen heaven.
  24. truphae_inc

    Pilot Namiki Vanishing Point

    I can't get enough of this Namiki Vanishing Point!! Do you guys like the more intricate designs in Namikis such as this, or prefer the solid colors?? This one is probably my favorite by far. Feel free to vote in the poll above!
  25. This is one of my latest urushi pen additions. It is the Danitrio Hanryo Maki-e Akigusa ni Suzumushi. Hanryo is the pen model and it means companion. Maki-e refers to sprinkled (with gold particles etc.) picture painting using urushi lacquer. Akigusa is autumn grass and Suzumushi is the bell cricket aka Meloimorphia japanicus. All the elements of this design, the cricket, autumnal grasses, chrysanthemum etc. reference the Autumn season. These crickets are well known in Japan and there is even a temple in Kyoto, the Kengonji temple that raises these crickets. People come to pray accompanied by their sound known as the voice of Buddha. This is/was the smallest pen Danitrio makes/made—I’ve read it’s out of production, but all the photos online show a slightly different pen that has a clip, mostly different for having a clip. This pen was new at the AD but I reckon that does not necessarily mean it was made recently. Two versions of this pen with the same maki-e design were available to me to choose from including this one in purple and another in red. Both were quite fetching, but I chose the purple model because I did not have an urushi pen with purple color. Regardless of the base color the maki-e work is beautiful and beautifully done with minor variations between the two pens. The basecoat is at first glance simply polished purple urushi but closer inspection reveals diffuse addition of gold powder, so I suppose the entire pen is technically done with maki-e techniques. On the cap is found an insect and plants. Delicate single lines define the grasses whereas the cricket features raden or shell inlay as well, which is a brilliant choice to represent folded up insect wings. The body depicts flowers, mainly chrysanthemums in two colors/effects but also shows other plants with raden and alternative maki-e techniques—I’ve not been able to identify the other two plants although they are likely familiar to Japanese people. All in all, this Autumnal scene is familiar in Japanese artwork and is found on paintings and screens as well as pens and other craftworks. The small #5 nib is branded with a T shape imprinted with the word “trio”. It’s an 18k stub nib fed by a plastic feed and a cartridge converter filling system. Size wise the nib fits the pen and while it is a petite pen for Danitrio it’s really a midsize pen and is comfortable to write with. The nib requires some pressure to write and it’s certainly no gusher but is not stingy with ink flow either. The cap does not post well and should not be posted. As it is turned from ebonite the pen is lightweight and well balanced. The artist who signed the pen is Masanori (Masanori Omote) and I’m proud to have several pens from him. He is a master.

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