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  1. My first ink review. This is 谷川岳ブルー "Tanigawadake blue," an ink produced by Sailor for the Joyful Honda 2 stationery shop in Ota-shi, Gunma-ken, Japan, as part of their "Gunma Great Mountain" series. I chose this ink as my first to try as it is named after a mountain, Tanigawadake, near my hometown. I apologize in advance for my bad penmanship. I am trying to make my English hand-writing better. Paper: Graphilo A5 notebook. Pen: Noodlers Konrad Text: Tanigawadake Blue Sailor Joyful-2 Gunma series This is a nice dark blue-black that reminds me a lot of "Quink" blue-black(Note: I made a mistake here. This ink reminds me of an old formulation of Quink. I finally finished my last cartridge and the new formulation is much lighter. Maybe the old cartridges had some water evaporate out of them and were more concentrated.) As a Sailor gentle ink it has a nice even flow and offers good lubrication. There is no feathering on high-quality paper, such as this "Graphilo" notebook, but it can feather on cheap copy paper. Dry time is around 10~15 seconds but is faster on more absorbent paper. On this paper there is obvious shading,even some sheen where the ink pools (but not much.) No bleedthrough but some ghosting on absorbent paper. The ink resists water a little, more so on cheap paper. Final thoughts, I like this color quite a bit. It is much darker than Sailor's Sei Boku blur-black and has a nice professional look while providing some shading for fun. ~Kanayama Pen-Noodler's Konrad. Here it is on Tomoe River cream And here it is compared to a few different blueish colors. Tanigawadake blue is named after Tanigawa-peak in northern Gunma. It is a famous place for star-gazing and the blue reminds me of a dark evening sky. This ink is available at the Joyful Honda store in Ota-shi, Gunma-ken, Japan. It is also available on the Joyful-2 Rakuten online store. Some people have asked why inks like these are not more widely available. According to the manager of Joyful-2 the Gunma ink was originally designed by a local artist who made the ink at Sailor's "ink workshop." The artist made many colors and would order refills so often that the store manager and Sailor decided to work with her to create a series of inks that would be on sale permanently. That way she could get ink quickly and the store would have a special product. This ink, and the others in the Joyful-2 store, have been available since 2009. Unfortunately they were never popular until last year (If you had gone into the store at this time last year you could have bought all of the colors in the old-style diamond bottle). As we all know, Sailor shop-special inks have become very popular. But they are often hard to get and sometimes only available at the physical stores. Joyful-2 hopes that the ink will encourage people to come into their store in order to buy the ink. This type of "regional product" is very popular in Japan. Many people like to travel to different places and bring back mementos of those places that aren't available anywhere else. My fountain pen friends have made special trips to Sapporo and Kobe to buy the inks available there. Many older people enjoy this type of rarity. For people who enjoy it, it makes travel special. Only in the last 8 years or so, since Amazon has come to Japan, has this idea gotten less popular. I know that it is frustrating to not be able to attain something for such a silly reason. But I hope frustrated people can understand that many people used to like the difficulty. Fortunately Joyful Honda 2 realizes that many people will not be able to get to their store (It is in the middle of no-where up in Gunma. It is a 20-min drive from the nearest station which means an expensive taxi ride, a long and expensive bus ride, or an hour long walk.) They have been selling these inks on Rakuten and are very happy that their inks have become the number one seller on that website. I hope this review has helped. I will do my best to improve all aspects of future reviews so feel free to offer constructive comments! Thank you.
  2. This is another review for an ink in the Gunma Joyful 2 shop special series by Sailor. 四万ライラック Shima Lilac. It is a bright purple with lots of shading. Text (spelling corrected) starting on Graphilo A5 notebook paper: Shima Lilac Sailor Joyful 2, Gunma series This is a nice, bright, summer purple that certainly lives up to its lilac name. It is a Sailor "Jentle" ink and as such has good flow and lubrication. It is easy to clean out of pens. There is no feathering on any paper quality and only some ghosting on thin paper. No bleed-through has been observed. It is not very saturated. This leads to a lighter base color with lots of shading, especially with wet pens. It is not very water resistant. Text is still legible after a spill, barely, but the paper will be purple. It drys in around 5 to 10 seconds dependent on the paper absorbency. Final thoughts, on Tomoe River cream. This is a fun ink. It is much too light to be used professionally, at least for me. But the shading makes it wonderful for letters. Some may be turned off by its light color, especially if you use it in a dry pen on non-absorbent paper. But in a wet pen, it is a blast to use. -Kanayama P.S. If you write in print or in Japanese (or any pen lifting script) the shading is much more prevalent. 群馬から世界へ Here are some other inks for color comparison on Graphilo A5 notebook paper. I apologize that I don't really have access to many purple inks. To compensate I tried to include some inks that others might have access to for reference. My scanning situation is such that I can't really set any color correction. You may have noticed that "Tomoe River cream" comes out as white. The scanner I have access to automatically white balances and I haven't found a way to stop it yet. The name for this ink, Shima, comes from Shima Onsen. Shima onsen is a small hotsprings town in the mountains of Gunma. It is a very small town and as such has avoided the large block-concrete hotels that dominate most other hot-springs towns. It is a very beautiful place and is my favorite hot spring in Gunma. if you have a chance I highly recommend visiting. It is not so popular recently so you should be able to find a good rate at a hot spring hotel there. Once again, this ink is available at the Nitta Joyful Honda 2 store in Ota-shi, Gunm-ken, Japan. It is also available on the Joyful 2 Rakuten website. I welcome any questions or comments. Thanks you!





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