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  1. Here is a focus stacked macro of the Platinum Izumo Kurikara-Ken in sumiko taka maki-e. This pen is subtly amazing. The mix of texture and contrasting finishes all in black is super cool. Best seen and felt to understand its intricacies. f2point8 stacked logo by Ja Ja, on Flickr
  2. Here I present my newest pen, the Platinum Izumo Galaxy in full macro glory. The surface is smooth with dense raden. The raden particles are not of a uniform size and are densely packed with uniform distribution. While not the most challenging maki-e ever this pen was made by a skilled artist. _SON4648 by Ja Ja, on Flickr _SON4649 by Ja Ja, on Flickr _SON4650 by Ja Ja, on Flickr
  3. jandrese

    Platinum Izumo Urokomon

    This is the Platinum Izumo Urokomon with cosu nib. A most excellent pen and nib. A fantastical, comfortable writer. Not a cheap pen but most impressive and indeed value for money. The display of urushi/maki-e craft is a wonder to behold. Photos do not do this pen justice. Uroko mon are diamond shaped Japanese family crests that are meant to evoke animal scales. These are hand drawn and finished in a variety of techniques. Platinum has done this pattern on several pen lines including the President, 3776, and this Izumo. The Izumo pens are really incredible sleeper hits. I have quite a few and in my opinion they are beautifully made superb writers and are value priced.
  4. Hello all, This is my first and rather brief fountain pen review. I have greatly enjoyed fountain pen reviews here over the years. I didn't find any reviews of this perhaps under-appreciated pen, so I thought it might be useful. The Bamboo Weaving line is part of the Platinum Izumo series (since 2017). As the name suggests, cap and barrel are covered in bamboo weaving: two models in the gozame weaving technique, coated with respectively sabi-urushi in Ankokushoku (dark black) and Benikabairo (red); the third model in the yokoajiro weaving technique with torafudake: bamboo parazited by bacteria called torafukin creating black spots resulting in "tiger-spotted" bamboo. This is the model I purchased and will be reviewing here. More technical details can be found here: https://www.platinum-pen.co.jp/e_press_290328.html - and a video of the manufacturing process here: The pen comes in a pen pouch in a beautiful paulownia wooden Izumo box - apologies for photographing the lid upside down … (30 cc ink bottle and converter incl.) The pouch is not as refined as we are used to from Nakaya but I’m happy to have it. I find the bamboo weaving beautiful and very comfortable to use. Yes, grime will accumulate, but like Tanizaki says in his In Praise of Shadows the “sheen of antiquity of which we hear so much is in fact the glow of grime.” And “Westerners attempt to expose every speck of grime and eradicate it, while we Orientals carefully preserve and even idealize it.” This fountain pen to me is quintessentially Japanese. “Weaving” fountain pens are unusual but not new. Pilot created a rattan mesh pen at the end of the 1920s (see A. Lambrou’s Fountain Pens of the World p. 366); Platinum created an apparently fragile rattan mesh pen in the twenties/thirties (A.L.’s Fountain Pens of Japan p. 295), a bamboo weaving President #3776 in 2010 (FPOJ p. 312); Nakaya still offers the Kago-amime (basket mesh), inspired by the aforementioned Platinum from the twenties but woven in bamboo instead of the fragile rattan. It seems like a bamboo woven “sleeve” is slid over a (metal?) barrel and cap (I assume it is metal because of the weight of the pen) - perhaps the bamboo in itself accounts for the weight. (At the end of the aforementioned video you can see what looks like a Nakaya bamboo mesh sleeve lying around.) The 18k gold nib 出雲 (“Izumo”) engraving is (to my knowledge) unique to the Bamboo Weaving models. I also believe the Bamboo Weaving pens are only available in Medium. A rather stiff but not-too-dry and not-too-wet writer with a good amount of characteristic Platinum feedback. A great writer. At 137 mm capped and 118 mm uncapped (barrel incl. nib), I would call this pen rather short unposted - although still very comfortable for my big hands (I’m 1m95). Its weight (approx. 32 grams) and barrel diameter (14,7 mm) make the pen feel substantial and when posted (171 mm) the pens becomes quite tall. Like most of my pens, I use it mostly unposted. Generally I’m not a big fan of “screw posting” but here the barrel-end thread is less than half a turn: screw-posting the cap becomes very easy and convenient even for short note taking. The step between barrel and section doesn’t bother me at all. A great writer, a very elegant finish, it became an instant favorite. If a (semi) flexible nib were available Nakaya-wise (their “elastics”!) and perhaps a clip, I would never need another fountain pen … I think.
  5. Sakura FP Gallery

    Platinum Izumo "kurikara-Ken" A Mighty Pen !

    The Izumo Kurikara-ken is inspired by the legend of “Kurikara Ryu-o”. The pen is decorated with the mighty sword that belonged to Fudo Myo-o, one of the Five Grand Kings of "Godai Myo-o". The legend tells about Fudo Myo-o transforming into a sword to fight a devil force. The devil changes into the same sword and Fudo Myo-o mutates quickly into a dragon “the Kurikara Ryu-o” and swallows the devil with his evil powers. It seems like the whole pen is disguised in a matt black coat. The design of the Kurikara dragon in Sumiko Taka Maki-e has been achieved by heaping up charcoal “sumi” powders to achieve a three-dimentional effect. To match this pen Platinum choose for a ruthenium coated clip and trim and white gold President nib. And they were right. This Izumo Kurikara-ken is an amazing and intriguing pen *** Catherine http://www.sakurafountainpengallery.com/en/boutique/detail/izumo-kurikara-ken
  6. This was an impulsive purchase on ebay, I put in an idle bid and to my shock, won. Consider this review as an extension of my review of the Izumo #28 Akatame. The Platinum Izumo is offered in three broad types today. Ebonite with Makie on it, Ebonite with Urushi coating in three colors: Red, Green, Black and finally in Iron wood (Tagayasan) with a Urethane coating (NOT Urushi), here again two finishes are offered, Glossy and Matte. The pen under review is the glossy finish one. Model No: PIZ-50000T #21 in F point. The Izumo is sold gift wrapped in a special brown wrapping paper, and this is how I received the pen. The converter is not included with the pen so it was placed externally. The unwrapping: http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/PlatinumIzumoTagayasan/IMG_9019.jpg http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/PlatinumIzumoTagayasan/IMG_9021.jpg Bubble wrap removed: http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/PlatinumIzumoTagayasan/IMG_9023.jpg The tag outside the gift wrap to help the shop identify the goods: http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/PlatinumIzumoTagayasan/IMG_9024.jpg Gift wrap removed: http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/PlatinumIzumoTagayasan/IMG_9025.jpg Tag on the outer box: http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/PlatinumIzumoTagayasan/IMG_9026.jpg The Distinctive Paulownia box with Izumo on it: http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/PlatinumIzumoTagayasan/IMG_9027.jpg Finally the pen: http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/PlatinumIzumoTagayasan/IMG_9028.jpg The paraphernalia: http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/PlatinumIzumoTagayasan/IMG_9030.jpg Some background about the materials: The wood is from the Dalbergia latifolia tree, a native of India thus special to me. It is also known as Indian Rosewood or Malabar Rosewood or Bombay Blackwood. (Bombay happens to be my city, I am curious how this wood got the Bombay name ) http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/PlatinumIzumoTagayasan/IMG_9056.jpg The pen: http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/PlatinumIzumoTagayasan/IMG_9031.jpg The pen is very dark, looked nearly black at first glance. But the grain pattern is there and is very nice. Clip Tags: http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/PlatinumIzumoTagayasan/IMG_9032.jpg http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/PlatinumIzumoTagayasan/IMG_9033.jpg
  7. Hi everybody, I’ve recently opened a Izumo which carries a rhodium president nib that was bought quite a while ago. So warranty, if there’s any, could have expired. On second thought, I’d like to go on the thicker side of lines and would like to have the nib changed to Broad. Does Platinum offer a nib exchange programme as its western counterparts or if it is not free, does Platinum allow doing it with a cost? I’ve tried searching the forum but didn’t seem to find any previous discussion on this. Does that mean a no? Does anybody have any experience that could be shared? Many thanks!
  8. Dazzled by the resplendent allure of a Japanese ED (with the concept of a shut-off valve mechanism), the lust for an urushi lacquered pen vis-a-vis plain ebonite ones (seemingly susceptible to lose shine and colour over time) did keep growing on me for some time, before I took this plunge! I have come to know of an unfortunate experience with a Sailor KOP in Ebonite and have felt that without urushi, ebonite just fails to complete itself. These glamorous reviews from shuuemura and rubyeyespenlover should be banned and blamed altogether for pen-monetary crises, which I kept visiting again & again. These reviews did make me aware of huge dimensions of the Emperor more towards a ‘at rest desk-pen’, with a reassurance of writing comfort. I will keep this review unrated, since beautiful things in life do not need logic or mathematics to impart you with joy. So when I was dazzled for long enough, I asked Raul (Engeika/Pensindia) for an opinion regarding the Emperor vs Yukari Royale. Since most of our discussions these days refer to trade economics, Government taxation rather than any real pen discussions, he lazily took two to three days to check with Namiki and confirmed me back with the nib availability for both the pens. He gave me a discounted price (which I shall not discuss) for the Emperor model, more as a friend than a seller. I went ahead with it, because the production of Emperor pen without rings had been stopped by Namiki and it would become difficult to acquire a preferred nib-width. The beauty travelled from Japan and reached me via Pensindia Pune office in less than two weeks. Below links redirects to the same review on my blog with additional eye-candy The Namiki Emperor Review A JUMBO HISTORY OF 85 YEARS In early 1930’s, the Emperor existed in the form of No.50 Jumbo. It was decommissioned a few years later. On one rare occasion as referenced here, Nomura securities (estd 1925) had a specially commissioned No. 50 Jumbo pen made for itself, with Dunhill-Namiki engraved (with the classic M-shape logo) in 1936, for distribution among its employees to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the company. Wow! how many companies would do that today? http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DOvvGuEJKqs/VpH7jevYvYI/AAAAAAAAFq0/CsZeYqgPhiI/s1600/1DNomuraEmperor.jpg Pilot reintroduced the pen in 1985 to tap the high margin market, as referenced here. The task was left to Sakai Eisuke to create a No. 50 Jumbo prototype based on the 1920s model. The initial model had a 14k nib with the 14 KARAT NAMIKI <NIB WIDTH> REGISTERED PATENT OFFICE 50 inscription, which later got replaced with a 18k nib carrying a similar engraving. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-s6NfGjeSk8w/VpH7RGtu0QI/AAAAAAAAFqs/GB5ABo05-ZE/s1600/2Dkarat.jpg These days it comes with Namiki’s standard Mt. Fuji inscription. The finish of these Urushi lines is obtained by using non-oil lacquer for the final coat and a polishing method called Roiro Urushi Shiage (Non-oil lacquer finish) as per Namiki. It’s done by rubbing the pen in raw lacquer after a special charcoal polishing process. And if you look at the plain Urushi line of pens (vermillion & black), the artisan’s name would say Kokkokai. Kokkokai is a continuation of the original group of Maki-e artisans formed in 1931, under leadership of Maki-e master Gonroku Matsuda, who had joined Ryosuke Namiki back in 1926 as Chief Maki-e Designer. Matsuda is said to have designed for Montblanc too. URUSHI Urushi, as you know, is the poisonous sap of the urushi or lacquer tree (Toxicodendron Vernicifluum) which grows in Japan, China, and Korea and is primarily brown in colour. The sap of this tree polymerises to form a hard, durable, plastic-like substance, when exposed to moisture/air. Liquid urushi can be applied to multiple materials like wood, metal, cloth, resin, ceramics or ebonite as opposed to the best of synthetic lacquers. When it solidifies, Urushi turns into a very hard coating that is waterproof and protects the coated object from effects of fungus, ambient chemical reactions at surface due to heat or humidity or even from caustic acids. Colored urushi such as black or shu (red) are made by mixing pigments into cured urushi. With natural exposure to air and ultraviolet light (extended UV exposure ends up in discolouration), the urushi layers gradually increase in transparency and the material gradually unveils shades of original bright colours within. The birth of the maki-e decoration technique took place during the Nara period in Japan i.e from 710-794 AD, in which gold ''dust'' was decoratively sprinkled on the lacquer surface. So maki-e utensils, accessories and writing instruments have evolved to their present forms from thousands of years ago. Only direct and prolonged exposure to sunlight will cause urushi to deteriorate. Urushi's hardness and durability makes it an excellent protective coating for any object that will be used continously over a long period of time (Paraphrased from Kyotoguide). This all ends up with a versatile material and with a characteristic hardness, durability, imperviousness and resistance to abrasion. The elegance of ebonite is supposed to endure time and space with the urushi flair. PRESENTED BY NAMIKI The presentation is grand and velvety with a spacious wooden box, capable of packing your sneakers too, which is made out of traditional Paulownia wood. It is protectively packaged inside a cardboard box. The box has a violet thread running across two metal brackets to fasten the upper lid. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-9i49GFleh2s/VpH8AAE7BbI/AAAAAAAAFrE/_zK1K3OQsuI/s1600/3presentation.jpg Resting inside is a bottle of Namiki Black Ink (Pilot Black Ink - 50 mL), an Ink dropper with a red bulb encased in a black cardboard box, a red velvety polishing cloth and finally the No#50 Jumbo resting on its bed. I did receive a nice surprise gift from Pensindia - it is a Pilot Somes single-pen pouch. Thank you! (PS : The Emperor would not fit inside this standard Pilot Pouch). http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-2WKlYSJpjtU/VpH8ERxDtzI/AAAAAAAAFrM/xbk5oAk0wI0/s1600/DSC_7536.jpg The model number of the pen, in this case FNF-148S-<R/B>-<F/FM/M/B> indicates the launch price and colour within it. The 148 refers to JPY 148,000 whereas the third digit R/B refers to the red/black urushi. DESIGN - CLASSIC This Lacquer No.#50 model comes in two standard colours - Black & Vermillion (Urushi) with gold plated clips. A newer No.#50 Urushi model is available with two concentric rings on the cap, carrying a different model number. The ebonite feels substantial in hand from dual perspectives of dimensions but at the same time the pen does not feel heavy. The classical cigar or rather torpedo shaped geometry with Vermillion hue adores itself with light, which when reflected through multiple layers of urushi takes on a electric red tinge on an otherwise conservative scarlet red hue. The work and finish is impeccable and it does not show any signs of being handmade, whatsoever. The simplistic yet elegant design comes with a single golden accent, provided deftly by the traditional triangular shaped tension fit clip with a sphere to anchor into your shirt pockets, if you have that big a pocket. A marked absence of any other decoration like a clip band or ring or anything else on the entire pen, imparts a continued infinity to modes of convergence. Vermillion is considered as an auspicious colour throughout East Asia, where it’s culturally imbibed. It has four synthetic & natural shades as of today: Red-Orange[sRGB (255, 83, 73)], Orange-Red[sRGB (255, 69, 0)], Plochere[sRGB (217, 96, 59)] and Chinese Red[sRGB (170, 56, 30)]. The shades/hue of the pens in red urushi might vary from one other. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-0DjoRXVscp8/VpH8UHvolGI/AAAAAAAAFrU/oMSLVGdluQA/s1600/DSC_7544.jpg The cap unravels itself after one and a half turns. It reveals the beautiful nib with the modern Mt.Fuji inscription which is incidentally 1.1 cm longer than the section itself. The seamless grip goes through a fair amount of taper starting from the barrel and ends up with a smoothly carved out bumper, emphasising continuity. The cap threads on the barrel are carved out with sculpted finesse and the grip section ends up with a small but discernible gap between itself and the barrel (common across the Urushi models). The barrel at the other end leads leisurely to the tail where you have the ink-shutoff valve. This picture thankfully captured the tail end, which your eyes might fail to notice, unless you know where you are looking for it. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zDgaI9nQ92M/VpH9FEL4wWI/AAAAAAAAFr8/FYWgzXkUHw4/s1600/DSC_7558.jpg I feel, the cap is itself a subtle piece art made from a single ebonite blank. It carries the valour and brevity of the overall smooth curved design with remarkable panache. The finish is impeccable, with the colours varying between bright and dark with the play of light. The clip is traditional triangular Pilot with a sphere at the end, inscribed with Namiki with the Isosceles Triangle within a Pentagon logo. There is a alphanumeric code inscribed on the upper base of the clip, where it delves into the cap. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-L1s1oI7rJsU/VpH8ms913sI/AAAAAAAAFrc/rv1zcJpmu6k/s1600/DSC_7559.jpg FILLING SYSTEM - The ‘Japanese’ Eyedropper A bit of history on it, there were these traditional non-self filling systems or NSF (without any filling mechanism - piston/button/plunger) and luckily enough fountain pens were compulsory during my junior school days. Since the squeeze converters/cartridges did not last long, we used to bank on fountain pens from Camlin & Chelpark which used to offer the capacity of the barrel itself. However, sometimes we did end up with ink inside the cap and sometimes a blue blot on pockets of our white shirts (our school uniform) due to ink burping & subsequent leakage. If I remember correctly, Surf made all the money those days, using this particular advertisement with an ink blot on white pockets in TV media. Seems the burping had mattered to the Japanese first, thanks to their costly Kimonos made of silk, when they had come up with an ink stop - plunger mechanism in early 1912. The term ED (Eyedropper) came into picture after advent of vacuum driven self filling pens with button, squeeze or plunger mechanisms. Now comes the ink-dropper with the red bulb to make an appearance. The section takes almost eternity (read seven complete turns) to reveal one of the most basic fountain pen filling systems. Most of the times, I fear the section would drop off due to my monotony and laziness during unscrewing the section. Once unscrewed, you can see the conical ink shutoff valve inside the barrel and a similar conical concavity with a crevice inside the section, to make the system work. The insides of the barrel & section are all black. With the dropper filled up with your favourite ink, you are supposed to be fill the barrel, until the visible internal threads. Leave the valve shut while filling the barrel, then unscrew one turn to allow air inside the chamber while writing and then close when finished. The entire rod is to be extracted completely, only when you are cleaning the barrel. It seems to be a delicate system, so one must avoid pulling the rod frequently. While using, you can unscrew the tail by 1 mm or so and start writing, although the feed might have a buffer comparable to a converter. After use, you can follow the instruction of screwing back the tail with the nib turned upside. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-38ZntEubEJ0/VpH80L-G8JI/AAAAAAAAFrs/hHEZLBvClT4/s1600/DSC_7560.jpg NIB - LORD OF THE NIBS The nib with this Emperor is 18k which weighs more than 2 grams and it came in four stock widths earlier - F, FM, M & B according to the enclosed booklet. It seems F and B nibs have run out of stock for Namiki/Pilot Office in Japan. The nib isn't anything short of grand, but believe me it takes time to get used to it. It’s longer than the section by more than 1 cm. Inscribed is the symbol of Mt. Fuji (also found in #3776 nibs), the upper part symbolic of the snow caps. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2GOBuk35mhg/VpH8vZhUZeI/AAAAAAAAFrk/QfublMrzLU4/s1600/DSC_7572.jpg The oval breather hole rests within the snow caps. Below the snow, etched are the Namiki Logo (Isosceles triangle inside a Pentagon), Namiki, gold alloy specs (18k-75%) and Nib width <M>. The nib is sharply curved compared to usual flatter Pilot nibs, at its shoulders & tines, as a continuity of the precision followed by Kokkokai artists, while making the pen. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gldtXZdK_9M/VpH9DGm_ZQI/AAAAAAAAFr0/j0aGj4KseZM/s1600/DSC_7573.jpg On the left the #50 nib carries the Namiki Logo Ste PP-F hallmark and on the right it carries the date stamp. Mine is a707, “a” as I understand refers to the machine/plant where the pen was made and 707 as usual refers to July-2007 manufacturing. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-iuwzbWJ4Bao/VpH9pwLIaLI/AAAAAAAAFsU/KsE1WGTuDXU/s1600/DSC_7584.jpg The semi-lacquered plastic feed (red urushi) converges majestically with the overall design of the pen. The big fins ensure levelling ambient air pressure and give you a really worthy buffer (from underside the nib). You can write a few A4 pages with the shut-off valve/tail closed. When I filled the pen for the first time, the feed took some time to respond, but when it did, it was with a nice and consistent flow, and after that it was pure performance. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-yw2qJX8g6ns/VpH9YIKs1LI/AAAAAAAAFsM/SDTrU1vB4Z8/s1600/DSC_7585.jpg PHYSICS OF IT – RELATIVELY SPEAKING This is in no way a daily carry pen designed for extensive use as a travel companion. For a daily pen, I assume that a Yukari Royale would fit the bill well albeit with a smaller nib. I take special care and limit the pen to home use only. The ebonite body keeps the pen warm & comfortably balanced for writing. The pen is in fact quite comfortable to write with, even for an extended period of time. The grip is temperate and soothing, showcasing the better qualities of ebonite, with urushi sustaining its demeanour. Posting the pen is probably an impossibility for me, given the size, finish or value of the pen. I really do not have any pen to compare it with, though I strongly feel that the Emperor deserves a place of its own. A slight disadvantage in my experience occurs when I change back to a m605 or a 3776, and I have a funny feeling of missing a nib altogether, for the first few moments. Figures for weight and dimension run below in case you need to compare it with a familiar pen. Length closed ~ 17.3 cmLength open ~ 15.8 cmGrip Diameter ~ 1.4 cmNib Leverage ~ 3.3 cmWeight (without ink) ~ 46 gWeight (without cap) ~ 30 g Capped, uncapped Emperor poses with an MB149 and Izumo Tagayasan with an apparent disdain for their great magnitude. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-P2lOtIuz804/VpH9wDlNEgI/AAAAAAAAFsc/A3AqaJNd29I/s1600/DSC_7612.jpg http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_vhLzb4MxWQ/VpH928tQsvI/AAAAAAAAFsk/npW_61zR1go/s1600/DSC_7624.jpg ECONOMIC VALUE The Emperor retailed at around USD 1600 in the US, although you can find it at lower prices in Japan. Moreover, the production of Emperor without rings has been stopped now and Raul was kind enough to arrange one for me. Technically speaking, I bought the pen from Engeika’s Indian Arm - Pensindia. Logically the economic value should be equal to salvage value of the pen after a few years of use and I don't think the price will vary by much even after a few years use with proper care, given that someone decides to sell it off. Having said that, even though the pen is one of its kind and the lacquer finish is impeccable, you should give it a serious thought, before taking this kind of a plunge. It will result in a fair amount of money being locked up within the urushi layers! OVERALL The medium nib is graced with a wet flow. It’s neither butter smooth nor with any noticeable feedback, strictly speaking. You will right away know it’s a Pilot nib, in case you have used any of the Pilot pens with a Size#15 nib like a Custom 823 or Custom 845. And it does share its basic DNA with its cousins. I feel that some characteristic spring and softness comes naturally to the Emperor because of the size & shape of the nib, rather from its gold content. The verticals grow thicker even with a little bit of pressure. With a high buffer capacity of the plastic feed and its magnificent fins for pressure balance, the nib imparts a beautiful shading to the letters in Iroshizuku Tsuki-yo ink. The ink takes around 45 seconds to dry completely on Tomoe River paper. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VNBh6tN6-aM/VpH-L4gxzxI/AAAAAAAAFss/MRCp8CXFcjA/s1600/DSC_7656.jpg Thank you again for going through the review. Wish you a prosperous new year. You can find other pen and paraphernalia reviews here. SOME CAUTIONARY GUIDELINES FOR URUSHI LACQUER CARE I felt like including some pointers regarding care of urushi lacquered pens here, since it will help me more than the reader (most of whom are extremely knowledgeable). The points are derived from this FPN Thread. AVOID Ultraviolet light - direct sunlight, UV lamps, halogen lamps.AVOID Continuous exposure to visible light which can alter colour, transparency and appearance.Do NOT soak in water.Store in a dark place to prevent undesirable changes.Do NOT store the pen in an excessively dry or desiccating environment for long periods like inside the fridge, with silica gel etc.Do NOT use abrasive cleaners or polishes, use a soft cloth damp if necessary, to wipe the pen Do NOT have to apply anything to the surface of urushi: oils, stinky tofu, silicone or otherwise. REFERENCES Dunhill - Namiki Jumbo#1930s Gonroku Matsuda About Urushi FPN Thread on Care for Urushi lacquered pens
  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 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
  11. Sakura FP Gallery

    Platinum Brand Of The Month

    Platinum pens are great pens ! That is why they are our Brand of the Month September. Check out our website. https://www.sakurafountainpengallery.com/en/boutique/platinum-japanse-pennen Enjoy your September ! Catherine
  12. This stupid site; you can't spend any amount of time on it without deciding that you really need an urushi pen. So...that's where I am right now. I've had a little time now with my new Platinum Izumo Sora tamenuri pen and I've decided to write a little review. Obviously, I am not in any way affiliated with Platinum or anyone who sells pens or services them etc etc. http://s24.postimg.org/zdeto75ad/IMG_4717.jpg The Platinum Izumo has been around for a few years now. It is named after a certain prefecture of Japan where they, apparently, make really nice paper. The pen intended to compete (to some degree) with the Namikis, Sailor King of Pens (Kings of Pen?) and Nakayas of the world. It comes in ebonite in four urushi finishes (black -kuro-, red -aka-, greenish -sora*-, and maki-e -yamonoguri-). It also comes in a wooden version (tagayasan) which is apparently much bigger. *as far as I know, sora means 'sky', but the color is pretty green. Go figure. Packaging I don't particularly care about packaging. I would just as soon buy the pen if it came in a blister-and-card package. However, this pen comes really nicely packaged. A textured paperboard outer sleeve contains a nice paulonia wood box with some Japanese writing on it. Inside the box are the usual accoutrements like paperwork I will never read, a cartridge I will never use, and a converter. There is also a nice scroll of blank mulberry paper for your calligraphy projects. The pen itself is in a cute little "pen kimono". All in all, it looks like as much care was taken in packing the pen as in making the pen itself. http://s10.postimg.org/7lbvem2uh/IMG_4714.jpg Dimensions Length, capped: 155mm Length, uncapped: 137mm Length, section (not incl. nib): 32mm Width, at threads: 13mm Width, max.: 18mm Weight, capped (not incl. cart or converter): 33g Here it is in comparison to a Pelikan M800 and a Platinum #3776 Century, two relatively common pens. http://s8.postimg.org/6ngqenjnp/IMG_4722.jpg http://s9.postimg.org/941pfd70v/IMG_4724.jpg Impressions & Design No way around it. This is an enormous pen. That hit me first. However, it's very light, since it's made of ebonite (hard rubber) and has very little metal in it. It's nice and wide at the section and is comfortable to hold. The metal threads are far enough back that they don't interfere with your grip. It is very nicely balanced and hours of writing do not yield any appreciable hand fatigue. (I didn't post the pen, since there was a warning in the box not to do so; plus, if you need to post this pen, you must have hands like Johnny Bench.) http://s21.postimg.org/z3xcuxlbr/IMG_4715.jpg The shape of the pen is superficially like a traditional cigar shape, but it has smooth, dare I say, sensual curves. The body is a deep brown-black with greenish coloring appearing at all the joints and edges. The color is like a much darker version of Nakaya's heki tamenuri finish. The clip is very uniquely shaped and says 'Platinum' on it. It is of moderate stiffness and is made of folded metal. Par for the course for Japanese pens but it would feel cheap on a European pen of this price range. The section and barrel have a metal-on-metal interface with precise threads. http://s7.postimg.org/6qb1mcz57/IMG_4716.jpg The cap screws on and off with a single twist and feels secure. The threads on the section are metal while the threads in the cap aren't. It does not appear to have anything like the Slip-and-seal system. The section and barrel interface with precision-cut metal threads (so no eye-dropper conversions). There's a nice long metal sleeve that the converter or cartridge slips into so you never have to worry about inserting the converter off-kilter. Overall, there is a great feel of a piece that was made with care and precision. Nib The Izumo series uses the nib and feed from the Platinum President series. A plastic feed supplies ink to an 18k gold, two-toned nib. (Mine is a fine.) The nib is stiffer, but it is both wetter and smoother than other Platinum (particularly the 14k #3776 Century) nibs I have used. I read in an article once that the President nib was designed for Western writing, not Japanese writing, but it didn't say how. I don't know exactly they did that, but I can assure you the President nib lays down a nice, wet line and it never has a problem with hesitating or skipping. http://s22.postimg.org/dmkodpkpd/IMG_4720.jpg I can also point out that my Izumo's idea of "fine" is noticeably wider than my 3776 Century's "fine" with the same ink. http://s21.postimg.org/jh63hk7jr/IMG_4725.jpg Straight out of the box, this nib performs better than any Japanese nib I have ever experienced and equals the performance of an OMAS in terms of smoothness and precision. (I am almost at the point where I'd say it actually is better than a lot of nibs I have had tuned by nibmeisters. It is that good.) Its smoothness feels like a cross between the glassiness of a European pen and the feedback-y smoothness of a Sailor. http://s27.postimg.org/6bu9s6rhv/IMG_4721.jpg Filling System You know that converter that Platinum pens come with? Yeah, it's that one. How do you feel about it? Just pretend that I am transcribing in this section of the review what you're thinking about that converter and that you totally agree with me. I like you too. http://s15.postimg.org/z5rz27ajf/IMG_4719.jpg Value This is not a cheap pen. It costs about what a non-custom Nakaya would cost. Is it the most sublime writing experience ever? Of course not. It's just a pen. That said, it's very nice to look at and comfortable to write with, with a truly brilliant nib. If you want to get the same nib for a fraction of the cost, buy a Platinum President. Final Thoughts This is a pen that does not get a lot of love on the forum. Perhaps that is because when you can afford one of these, why don't you get a Nakaya? A lot of pens fall into that trap: if you can afford X, why didn't you just buy X instead of something that costs the same? Personally, I love this pen. It's the best all-around Japanese pen I've ever owned and certainly one of the prettiest regardless of place of origin. Its enormous size makes it a little impractical for taking to the office, but I write more at home anyway. How does it compare to a Nakaya? If you didn't skip ahead, you probably asked yourself this anyway. I've been asked this question more than a few times already. Now, I'm not going to say one is better than the other because that's not fair and there are so many subjective things that go into an opinion like that it would render the answer pointless. However, I will say this. They write differently. The Nakaya uses a tuned #3776 nib and feed, while the Izumo uses a tuned President nib and feed. If you like one over the other, then that difference will be magnified comparing a Nakaya and an Izumo. Nakayas are obviously far more tailored to the individual. That's their point. The Izumo is not. The Izumo is meant to be a flagship pen from a large company. Personally, I like the President nib and the sensual curves of the Izumo more than I value the customization options of the pen body that Nakaya offers me. You may be the opposite. In either case, you are going to be getting a hand-made ebonite-bodied fountain pen with a wonderful nib and lovingly- and expertly-applied coats of lacquer. (And it's STILL just a c/c) You're really choosing between Rolls Royce and Bentley and you can't go wrong. http://s15.postimg.org/aqjr15bmj/IMG_4718.jpg
  13. Just a quick poll. Have a couple extra dollars that I fell into and am considering these two pens. Which would you go for and why?
  14. For a limited time, get 20% off all Platinum products! Everything is included, from the great #3776 fountain pens to the bargain Platinum Preppy. Explore our complete range of Platinum products here: http://www.cultpens.com/c/q/brands/platinum We're also offering the same discount on all Diplomat products (excluding the Spacetec range!). This includes the newly arrived - to us at least - Aero and Excellence A Plus ranges. You can view our Diplomat range here: http://www.cultpens.com/c/q/brands/diplomat
  15. Hi! I don't have any Japanese pens yet, and I'd like to change that! I like shiny, blingy things, and the Pilot/Namiki Vanishing Point in the various Raden designs http://www.gouletpens.com/PN60590_p/pn60590.htm as well as the Platinum Galaxy Maki-e have all caught my eye http://nibs.com/PlatinumMakieGalaxy.html. The third pen I'm eying up is the Platinum Izumo Urushi (in Akatame red) http://nibs.com/Platinum-President-Izumo-Dark-Red.html (While not 'blingy', there is something about this pen that really grabs my attention. A subtle intensity I guess. I would love some input from those with experience with these models (or similar) who can tell me what they like/didn't like about these particular pens, what they would change etc etc. Some extra info: - I have never tried a Vanishing Point, so I don't know if I would like the feel of it, and I'm not sure if I'd like that clip right in the middle there. Does it impede your writing at all? I'm going to be honest, I'm totally going on looks here - I tend to favour big, wet writing Italian pens and I love a smoothy smooth (or at least mostly smooth LOL) with some nice spring in the nib. - I'm going to contact john Mottishaw and seeing what my customization options are for the Galaxy and the Izumo - I'd love to do a Spencerian mod on the Galaxy if that was possible. - I read somewhere that the Urushi coating changes after you have used it for a long time. Can anyone clarify/add to that? Many thanks for all of your help !

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