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Just Wondering... Are Nakaya Pens Really Worth It?


kalum
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Going back to the question in the thread title:

 

No more than any other you do like. Nakaya is becoming... well, a mainstream company with very very very old staff people.

 

I currently own six different models and versions and finishes and nibs, and besides in the past I have collected a number of them, only to sell the unused ones. My conclusion: this brand is perfectly OK only if you love their products, just like any other expensive item you may be wondering whether to buy it or not. There is no "magic" in it, nothing special. No more "art" o "craftsmanship" or "oriental taste" than in any other high quality Far East brand.

 

I do not think I will ever buy another Nakaya, and I do not feel especially prone to recommend this particular brand. That´s my opinion, which is what you wanted, didn´t you?

 

plumista

Edited by plumista
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I remember reading somewhere on the forum that Nakaya is the most "budget" out of the big 3 when you consider the urushi hand-painted lineup. Sailor's KOP Urushi / Platinum Izumo / Pilot Custom 845 Urushi are all more expensive than the standard models of Nakaya. Even Danitrio starts at about usd600. A black urushi from Nakaya will set you back Usd400, while the standard models start at USD550. The other pens mentioned above from the other brands usually go for about Usd600.

 

Comparing Nakaya to other pens like MB/Pelikan/Chinese pens is like picking out which fruit you like- apples, oranges, strawberries or kiwi? They're all good! Comparing the different models of hand painted urushi would be a closer match - fuji apple, green apple, or washington apple? Hahaha

 

Nakaya pens are worth it if you're considering adding an urushi-bodied pen to your collection, if only because they give you the most bang for your buck in terms of price and the ability to customize (pick your nib/add elasticity/nib color/clip color/stopper/small kanji/etc)

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I now have three Nakaya pens, and at one point I had six. The ones I have kept are the ones with John Mottishaw stub and CI, as well as an older style long cigar with a soft fine nib that has been tuned by somebody (no information as to who). In my present opinion, Nakaya nibs shine when they are modified, and are just OK when they are not. I wish I could match a Sailor KOP nib to a Nakaya; that would be a real gem!

 

:-)

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I now have three Nakaya pens, and at one point I had six. The ones I have kept are the ones with John Mottishaw stub and CI, as well as an older style long cigar with a soft fine nib that has been tuned by somebody (no information as to who). In my present opinion, Nakaya nibs shine when they are modified, and are just OK when they are not. I wish I could match a Sailor KOP nib to a Nakaya; that would be a real gem!

 

:-)

 

 

I would not consider buying a Nakaya from anyone other than John Mottishaw, for this very reason.

Rationalizing pen and ink purchases since 1967.

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I always wonder why do people say Nakayas are very good writers. They have Platinum nibs so shouldn't they be equally good writers?

 

This is the post that brought this thread back to life. :)

 

Platinum nibs are independently superb writers. Nakaya brand offers some additional choices in nib width and plating and of course the brand name NAKAYA on the nib.

In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

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I am at my one year anniversary with my first and only Nakaya and it is the pen that I use every single day, morning and night. It is a John Mottishaw medium cursive italic.

To each his own, but good lord, no other pen I have had elicits such delight from people trying it out.

 

Doug

www.ricecracker.net

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I, too, cannot wait to be able to order my first Nakaya -- part of the reason being the beauty of the object and its crafted manufacture; but, in large part...John Mottishaw!

 

(I do own a Danitrio -- traded used -- whose nib has added flex by the same good gentleman and it is a corker! Almost as soft as any of my vintage Pelikan nibs; <almost>...)

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I am at my one year anniversary with my first and only Nakaya and it is the pen that I use every single day, morning and night. It is a John Mottishaw medium cursive italic.

To each his own, but good lord, no other pen I have had elicits such delight from people trying it out.

 

Doug

If the Nakaya or for that matter any other nib is re-grounded to a stub or italic isn't there a loss of the Iridium tip and make the nib last less longer?

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If the Nakaya or for that matter any other nib is re-grounded to a stub or italic isn't there a loss of the Iridium tip and make the nib last less longer?

You're reshaping the iridium, not removing it. The reduction of material logically means there is less present to endure wear, but when is the last time you saw tipping material worn completely away from use? The amount of abrasion during normal writing is minimal, and iridium is very hard (i.e.: abrasion resistant). If this weren't the case, we wouldn't need abrasives to smooth a nib.

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I just got my first Nakaya, a Kuro-Tamenuri Piccolo with F nib and have been using it endlessly since day 1! Yes, it's worth every hard-earned penny!!

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I just got my first Nakaya, a Kuro-Tamenuri Piccolo with F nib and have been using it endlessly since day 1! Yes, it's worth every hard-earned penny!!

very happy for you...can you share a picture?

"You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger darling.” "Forever optimistic with a theme and purpose." "My other pen is oblique and dippy."

 

 

 

 

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I've had my long cigar in Shiro-tamenuri about a month and haven't picked up another pen since. I generally wait at least a year before taking the plunge with an expensive pen, just to make sure I really want it. I waited 3-4 years before buying my Nakaya and wish I hadn't.

 

Short answer, yes, worth it.

read, write, grade essays, repeat

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  • 1 month later...

I just recently acquired a Nakaya Neo Standard in matte black hairline finish, with Ruthenium plated fine nib and clip, and it is one of the most amazing tools I have ever handled. I very much enjoyed httpmom's post #65 on page 4 of this thread, and I think it was maybe a misinterpretation of it to say that only the Japanese can truly enjoy something like a Nakaya. But either way, for me the point was that there is such a thing as the Japanese aesthetic, and while you don't need to be from Japan or be Japanese to "get it" or enjoy this aesthetic, it is it's own world, and it may take some sinking-into and learning-about and pre-disposition in order to "get it".

 

Some of us Westerners are, I think, naturally predisposed towards this aesthetic. I remember reading an introduction to a Zen book where the authors teacher said to him that many souls from the East were reincarnating in the West, and that the teaching of Zen was now needed there. Whether or not you believe that literally, I think at least figuratively, this is true.

 

I too have found myself fascinated by the Japanese aesthetic, and Japanese culture and philosophy, from when I was very young. This then lay dormant for many years, until I encountered a Zen teacher during summer vacation between college years and started practicing myself. I learned about the Tea Ceremony, read Suzuki's book "Zen and Japanese Culture" and "In Praise of Shadows" by Tanizaki, learned the game of Go, and a thousand other things and by-ways and thoughts which I won't go into, as I'm probably already testing the readers patience here.

 

But the short of it is this: that this is a whole world, with a soul and a spirit, and when you're in tune with that world, to one degree or another (and you don't need to have ever even heard of Japan or have studied it or anything--it could just be "in your blood")--well, then something like a Nakaya fountain pen, or an expensive Go set, does something AMAZING to you. It's like beauty, and order, and purity, and human perfection and imperfection perfectly expressed in the physical dimension. There's a shudder of breath-taking beauty and longing and a keen awareness and appreciation of the long years of discipline and effort that went into its creation.

 

The first time I went to the museum here at Cornell University, I was walking through, looking at this or that, waiting for something to speak to me, and then I came upon a Samurai sword at the top most level, and spent the next hour looking at it, listening to it.

 

I could never own that sword or any sword like it, as they are priceless or very very expensive. And that's to be expected.

 

But you can own a Nakaya, and it's kind of amazing that you actually can own such a one! Something hand crafted in Japan over a period of six months! You can just call up Classic Fountain Pens and just order it? Really?

 

Yes. Really. And I did. The pen I ordered, I'd been wanting since I first saw it almost a year ago now. I couldn't "justify" the price, at the time, and I only barely managed to convince myself that it was OK this time. And when it came, I went through a bout of "is it worth it?" and "the nib isn't as smooth as I expected" and a bunch of other thoughts.

 

But then, all that just washed away as I wrote with the pen, used it, listened to it. I think maybe pens do have souls. Or this one does! The shape and balance, the finish, the weight, the incredible beauty of this functional work of art--if all that doesn't count as a "soul" I don't know what does. I mean, yes, it's not a human soul, but it's a soul nonetheless.

 

This is my pen. It spoke to me and I listened and I'm so glad that I did. It is by far my favorite fountain pen.

 

I've read any number of times where people finally decide to get their "grail" pen and they sell off a number of pens from their collection and can finally purchase that one special pen that they really wanted in the first place. Or have wanted for some time.

 

So, is it worth it to spend a lot of money on a bunch of pens only to sell them later to get just one pen? I suspect it's much better financial sense to just buy the one pen from the start!

 

But I don't think it can be a question of "worth it". I think there is a question of whether or not you can afford it and I think it would be irresponsible (and unwise) to buy a Nakaya while letting your children go hungry or failing to pay your rent or whatever. But if there is a question of "worth it" then you haven't fully entered into the spirit and soul of the world from which a Nakaya emanates.

 

I think it's a question of whether or not this world speaks to you, if your soul resonates with it, if your intuition tells you that this or that Nakaya (or other Japanese fountain pen) is for you.

 

If you can't stop looking at the page on your pen at Classic Fountain Pens website and if you keep wondering how you can make room in your budget for this pen, well, then clearly, you should buy it! But there was never a question of whether it was worth it. Not really.

 

But this is just my indefensible, completely crazy opinion! So, you know, take that into consideration! LOL!

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Hi httpmom, here are the pics... very nice, isn't it?

19016911019_9ca17c0f03_z.jpg

 

It's a beauty, thank you.

"You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger darling.” "Forever optimistic with a theme and purpose." "My other pen is oblique and dippy."

 

 

 

 

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I just recently acquired a Nakaya Neo Standard in matte black hairline finish, with Ruthenium plated fine nib and clip, and it is one of the most amazing tools I have ever handled. I very much enjoyed httpmom's post #65 on page 4 of this thread, and I think it was maybe a misinterpretation of it to say that only the Japanese can truly enjoy something like a Nakaya. But either way, for me the point was that there is such a thing as the Japanese aesthetic, and while you don't need to be from Japan or be Japanese to "get it" or enjoy this aesthetic, it is it's own world, and it may take some sinking-into and learning-about and pre-disposition in order to "get it".

 

After my post, I felt that apparently I had killed the entire thread because of my statements which made a lot of folks take offense at the idea of a specific Japanese aesthetic. I'm sorry I didn't take more care in my wording...I did state that some people on FPN would "get it" as you call it. And I thank you for bringing the thread back to life.

 

Some of us Westerners are, I think, naturally predisposed towards this aesthetic. I remember reading an introduction to a Zen book where the authors teacher said to him that many souls from the East were reincarnating in the West, and that the teaching of Zen was now needed there. Whether or not you believe that literally, I think at least figuratively, this is true.

 

Most intriguing idea. If reincarnation is real than, most surely I lived at least a few lifetimes in Japan.

 

 

But then, all that just washed away as I wrote with the pen, used it, listened to it. I think maybe pens do have souls. Or this one does! The shape and balance, the finish, the weight, the incredible beauty of this functional work of art--if all that doesn't count as a "soul" I don't know what does. I mean, yes, it's not a human soul, but it's a soul nonetheless.

 

Yes I believe objects can have souls, if the making of it was infused with the human soul who created it. That is the very definition of art.

 

This is my pen. It spoke to me and I listened and I'm so glad that I did. It is by far my favorite fountain pen.

 

So glad you are enjoying your pen!

 

But this is just my indefensible, completely crazy opinion! So, you know, take that into consideration! LOL!

 

Viva la crazy! And thanks for sharing.

Edited by httpmom

"You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger darling.” "Forever optimistic with a theme and purpose." "My other pen is oblique and dippy."

 

 

 

 

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For anyone craving a further look, there is a fabulous book regarding the Japanese esthetic called, 'The Unknown Craftsman: A Japanese Insight into Beauty'

http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/1568365209?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=ox_sc_act_title_2&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

I own an original copy and it amuses me to see that it is now increased in value. I think I paid $40 for it, a lot of money at the time. The plates are perfection.

 

post-121404-0-13565800-1439249323_thumb.jpg

 

For woodworking folks, I recommend The Soul of a Tree: A Master Woodworkers Reflections by George Nakashima

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1568363958?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=ox_sc_act_title_1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

Wonderful book by the late great master.

 

"You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger darling.” "Forever optimistic with a theme and purpose." "My other pen is oblique and dippy."

 

 

 

 

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I reckon y'all are getting me to grok all this. Very interesting.

Qui tam pro domino rege quam pro se ipso in hac parte sequitur.

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but the characteristics of their nib-- buttery smooth, turns me off

 

Neither of my EF nibs from Nakaya are smooth. One is what I consider "normal" for an EF, the other is a touch scratchy. Both are perfectly adjusted, no misaligned tines or sharp edges.

 

Despite the feedback on them, I LOVE the way they write. To answer OP's question, yes they are worth every penny.

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Yes. I've a Portable Cigar in Midori, with rose-gold M nib. That will do me. When 'my' green ink comes out, then it will be outstanding.

But of course, it's all down to personal taste, and expenditure against perceived value.

The Good Captain

"Meddler's 'Salamander' - almost as good as the real thing!"

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