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  1. One of my Danitrio Mikado (eyedropper filling model) pens leaked on me at work. That is Noodler’s Navy you see on the section in the first image. I collect Danitrio and this sort of thing happens more often than I care to admit on their eyedropper filling pens. I still collect Danitrio but stopped buying eyedropper models a couple of years ago. At this point I know all the potential ways in which a Danitrio can leak. This one leaked at the junction between the section and the barrel. Naturally, with a leak like this you don’t know it’s happening until you look at your inky hand so that’s nice. There is no obvious reason for the leak, which led me to investigate further. To do so I thought a comparison to a Japanese eyedropping pen that has never leaked on me was in order. Thus, I cleaned out the Namiki Emperor I had with me at work and set about comparing the two pens. What have I learned? 1) That even compared to a Namiki Emperor the Danitrio Mikado is a big pen and looks great. Feels good to hold and to write with and that stub nib is extra nice. Seems to be on par with the Namiki on looks and feel but… 2) The section engineering and machining execution is different between the two pens. The concept is the same—eyedropper with shutoff valve—but the Namiki has some advantages. a. The Namiki threads are finer pitched and better machined inside the barrel and on the section. This can be felt when screwing in the section; there is a smoother feel and less play. b. The threaded portion of the section has a bigger diameter on the Namiki. The overall diameter is 10% greater and but the ratio between the diameter of the grip portion and the threading is also 10% greater on the Namiki. c. The o-ring on the Namiki is more precisely seated, that is, it has no room to move about. d. Both o-rings fit into a slot in the barrel that is flat and smooth before the threads start up. The slot on the Namiki is not as deep. I have a gang of Danitrio pens that fill by eyedropper. One or two have never leaked on me at the section. This pen used to be one of them. The problem is at the level of the o-ring. There is too much potential for the o-ring to move about, get twisted, or otherwise compressed in an uneven fashion. It only takes an infinitesimal gap for ink to leak. Water always finds the path of least resistance. A little side pressure from your grip and the heat from your hand is all it takes to set the leak in action. Part of loving Danitrio seems to be leak mitigation. Changing o-rings has helped in the past on other pens but o-rings that fit are not easy to come by. Danitrio themselves does not seem to have consistently sized, readily available replacement o-rings. That bit about consistently sized o-rings may make more sense knowing that there is more variability between Danitrio pens of the same model than Namiki pens of the same model. I reckon Namiki buys only one size of o-ring that always fits like it is supposed to. I admit that it all is a bit frustrating, but I press on. IMG_8517 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_8529 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_8535 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_8539 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_8541 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_8543 by Ja Ja, on Flickr
  2. There are times when pens surprise you and you just have to purchase. This was one of those times for me. I have three or four other Mikado size pens from Danitrio but when I saw this flat top Mikado I had to have it. The flat top shape is new to my collection but that's not what sold me. The tamenuri finish is neigh on perfect. It's radiant and luxurious. The pen feels like a precision instrument, yet, looks like fine art. Something for the left and right sides of the brain. IMG_2760 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_2765 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_2763 by Ja Ja, on Flickr Like all Mikdo pens there is a #8 Bock nib and an ebonite feed. Filling by eyedropper it holds a massive bunch of ink. The blind cap screws down and is almost seamless such is the perfection of the urushi finish. Marked "B" for broad the nib looks and writes like a stub perhaps a bit less wide than a frank Danitrio #8 stub. The confident signature is by Kogaku (Koichiro Okazaki) who also lacquered my freaking perfect shu roiro-migaki Densho. IMG_2764 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_2762 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_2761 by Ja Ja, on Flickr I really considered the recently release Sailor KOP with tamenuri finish. The photos made it look beautiful but this Danitrio makes me happier. I don't know why but Danitrio pens have that effect on me. For extra enjoyment the last photo shows on of my Grand Seiko watches next the pen. The Japanese really know how to treat the senses. IMG_2766 by Ja Ja, on Flickr IMG_2769 by Ja Ja, on Flickr
  3. jandrese

    Three Danitrio Mikado

    Realized I was carrying three Danitrio Mikado pens today and thought I'd share some pics. From left to right: tame-nuri in light bengara (reddish brown) and ki-dame (yellow), irokeshidami-nuri (matte finish) in dark bengara and ki-dame, sakurakawa-nuri (cherry tree bark pattern). Nibs left to right: broad, stubbish broad, and medium. All #8 nibs with ebonite feeds.
  4. So I just spent a long time late a night typing up a detailed review of my new pen, the Danitrio mikado (with clip) eyedropper filling, medium18k nib with ebonite feed, red color sakurakawa-nuri fountain pen, but I accidentally closed the browser window and lost the content. Bummer right, yeah pretty much, but maybe better for you dear reader. I'm tired and maybe had one extra glass of wine too many so here is the short version. Here is what I really want you to know. Sakura=cherry tree, kawa=bark, and nuri=lacquer (urushi) work This pen is: Very beautifulVery bigVery good writerHigh art There, that is the shortest I can make it. This is an awesome pen made by a true artist. Functional art. I've carried it everywhere and it never disappoints either artistically or in terms of writing performance. I'm lucky to posses it. Just look at it. Look. See that? Intense right? You bet.
  5. So, here I am, on the edge of getting a Danitrio Mikado (midori-dame) and trying to decide what nib should I arm it with. If I understand correctly, from what I have read these days, it seems that Danitrio used to offer 'soft' (semi-flex) and 'stiff' #8 nibs. But apparently they don't do that any more (since when? Why?). Their catalog, today (August, 2016), states: "#8, 18k gold nibs for Mikado, Genkai, Sho-Genka, are available with F, M, B, and Stub". I have asked the lovely people at nibs.com about adding some flex to one of these nibs and they answered that "adding flexibility (to a 18k gold nib) is not something we can do that well". So, here I am, trying to decide what stock nib to get... I love line variation. Normal writing, for me, must have some "calligraphic options". And in such a pen (wow! I'll include some pics) you better have the right nib to help your wild calligraphic fantasies blossom. So, does anyone have experience with the nibs Danitrio is currently using (that is August 2016)? Are they super-stiff? How wide is their stock stub? Could you get some line variation from the M or F nibs by applying some pressure? For comparison purposes, I have a Nakaya cursive italic that was grind by John Mottishaw from a BB. I love it (and it writes like a dream), but it is stiffer than I'd like it to be. Can someone tell his/her experience with customized Danitrio nibs? Thank you for your feedback Salute! pd. I took the photos from nibs.com (and thank them) with the sole aim of sharing the beauty of this pen. http://www.nibs.com/www/WEBSITE%20PICS/Danitrio/danitrio-mikado-without-clip-midori-dame-uncapped.jpg http://www.nibs.com/www/WEBSITE%20PICS/Danitrio/danitrio-mikado-without-clip-midori-dame-nib-detail.jpg
  6. To celebrate 1000 year “Tales of Genji” Sailor commissioned in 2008 Master Hiroshi Ito (°1930) to make a “Suprême Mikado” set of three magnificent pens crafted in the old and traditional Kyo-Maki-e way. Each limited to 8 pcs per pen and accompanied by a beautiful lacquered box. This “Kocho” is the very last pen worldwide that remains from the Suprême Mikado set. It carries number #8/8. The nib is a 21kt Nagahara King Eagle. The price for this last Maki-e pen is very attractive. http://www.sakurafountainpengallery.com/en/fpngallery/gallery-detail/suprême-mikado-quot-kocho-quot If you are interested : catherine@sakuragallery.com Have a nice day ! Catherine
  7. http://i.imgur.com/L1KmlxA.jpg The Danitrio Mikado is the only repeat in my collection. And it's for a good reason. The pen is just an amazing writer and it's ebonite construction makes it incredibly well-balanced. I own one Ao (blue) Roiro-Migaki and one Shu (red) Roiro-Migaki Mikados in the flat-top version, clipless. They also available in the round-top version. Both flat- and round-top version are available with and without clips. http://i.imgur.com/JSkqnd0.jpg The signature is of Koichiro Okazaki, also known as Kogaku. He is a master Maki-e artist commissioned by Danitrio to do both urushi pens as well as Maki-e pens. I love that Danitrio's urushi pens are signed by the artist. It really makes a point of the man who put so much skill and work into making these pens a reality. The signature also just looks pretty cool =] http://i.imgur.com/k6ARh3S.jpg Interestingly, the Bock #8 nib, which most of the bigger Danitrio pens use, has changed slightly over time. The blue one has the older version, while the red one has the newer version. http://i.imgur.com/U5ep2cd.jpg From top: Danitrio Mikado in blue urushi, Danitrio Mikado in red urushi, Danitrio Densho in blue urushi, Danitrio Sho-Genkai in raw ebonite, and a Lamy Safari in charcoal. The Densho is an older pen that I got in a trade and the blue urushi is little lighter. The Densho is also an eyedropper but it has a #6-size nib. It's very light and comfortable and the clip makes it more convenient to carry but I much prefer the looks and writing experience of the Mikado. With it's large ink capacity and clip, it would make a great daily carry. http://i.imgur.com/yhABwkY.jpg The Mikado pens are Japanese eyedroppers, which is an eyedropper with a shut-off valve. You fill the pen with an eyedropper or syringe and when you want to write you unscrew the knob at the end and it opens up the valve. Here you can see the seal that meets with the inside of the section, cutting off ink-flow when the shut-off valve knob is screwed down. http://i.imgur.com/US5q6im.jpg The Mikado is a big pen! But it's very light for it's size and the large grip section is very comfortable for long writing periods. Underneath the Mikado is a Nakaya Piccolo. Nakaya pens are more normal-sized in width but for people who prefer oversized pens, I think Dantrio pens would generally be more comfortable. I'm not really qualified to determine the difference in urushi quality, but to my eyes both Danitrio and Nakaka look fantastic. Danitrio's urushi is done by master Maki-e artists though, which is why they have that nifty signature, that I love so much. http://i.imgur.com/oQtbCOo.jpg Even though the Mikado is really big capped, uncapped it's a very reasonable length. The nib is huge and proportional to it's size. http://i.imgur.com/rODHMY5.jpg http://i.imgur.com/sDqiNn0.jpg Danitrio Sho-Genkai with the old-style Bock #8 nib and Mikado with new-style Bock nib. http://i.imgur.com/i32l0to.jpg A trio of Danitrio eyedroppers. http://i.imgur.com/VhpKpZF.jpg A trio of Dantrio #8-size nibs. http://i.imgur.com/RYYol92.jpg http://i.imgur.com/KWdbwsc.jpg The red urushi is so bright and absolutely flawless. Kogaku, the Maki-e artist, who did the lacquer work on both my Mikado pens, did a fantastic job. http://i.imgur.com/ya2MuQk.jpg http://i.imgur.com/GbE1XuW.jpg Writing sample http://i.imgur.com/2ZUQ3Ik.jpg The fine nib has some slight feedback but is very smooth and a fantastic writer. The medium is just a bit bigger in writing width than the fine and has less feedback. The broad nib is ridiculously smooth and ridiculously wet, and much wider than the medium. It's a fun nib and would make a great starting point to a custom grind. http://i.imgur.com/uue0bLm.jpg From top: Blue Mikado, Red Mikado, Lamy Safari, Raw Ebonite Sho-Genkai, and Blue Densho. My next pen is either going to be a Namiki Emperor or a third Danitrio Mikado in a more exotic finish like Nashiji-nuri or one of the Hanazono collection colors. For my hand, it's just the perfect oversized pen.
  8. So, I am getting a Danitrio Mikado. It's likely going to be a round top, and with a clip. Gold I believe. I'm getting a urushi basic finish, keeping the price at the minimum. But I am enamoured with so many of the available colors. Tame-nuri, roiro-migaki, irokeshi-dame, all such options are open. At the moment, I think I favor something in green. But Midori-dame tame-nuri, or midori irokeshi-dame (for the different texture).. or Midori Roiro-migake... But then I look at the red/sho or yellow/golden/honey brown ki colors and I'm also stricken with a major case if "I want!" I't's a tough choice, and I figured I'd enjoy seeing your impressions and stories about what danitrio urushi pen is your absolute favorite. Please, don't hold back, tell me about the color/pen you love, the one that's most special to you. The more fanatic you feel the better. Madness is infectious and I want to share your affliction. I know we all can appreciate the beauty of well laid urushi. in all its wonderful colors, but what is THE color for YOU. What pen of yours do you like taking out not only to use, but to simply marvel at. Pictures are more than welcome.

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