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Iroshizuku Asa-Gao- Blue Or Purple? Have You Used It?


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I'm looking for a bright and saturated medium/ royal blue. Something like Noodler's Baystate Blue or Parker Penman Sapphire.


I found Pilot Iroshizuku Asa-Gao.

From the pictures I've seen online, Asa-Gao is either bright and vibrant blue, light purple or light (definitely not vibrant) blue. If you have used it, what colour is it? Or what colour is it on different papers/ inks?


Pictures from the internet:

vibrant medium blue:



light blue


light purple




Edited by a.zy.lee
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To me it's a royal blue.

Thanks, but which of the 3 would that be closest to?

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My bottle most closely resembles the 'light blue' but I prefer pens that write a little on the dry side.

In a wet pen you will get a richer, darker blue like the one in your picture 'vibrant blue' . Mine looks

nothing like the light purple sample.

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Thanks, but which of the 3 would that be closest to?

None of the pictures resembles my Asa-Gao. I would also not compare it to Baystate Blue (I don't have Penman Sapphire.) IMO, if you like Baystate Blue or Penman Sapphire, get those.


Those pics look like my Asa-Gao:




I prefer to use Asa Gao in F or EF nibs, because it brings the colour out better, in wider nibs it can look like another regular royal blue.

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Odd anoria one of the reviews you linked says that asa-gao took longer than average to dry, almost every other review I read says it is a very fast drying ink.

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Iroshizuku Asa-Gao is my favorite blue. I find it to be a vibrant, royal blue with a strong presence on the page when coming from a wetter writer. I also find that bright white paper makes a big difference with this one.

It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

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IME, Asa-Gao is less purple than most royal blues, about on par with Waterman Blue (though Asa-Gao is much richer). It definitely leans more towards sapphire than azure, but I would simply call it a true blue.

Edited by RyanH
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I definitely wouldn't call it light blue, it's one of the more saturated Iroshizuku inks. To me, it's a deep royal blue with a hint of purple. If you've got a really wet pen, like a music nib, you might even get some sheen.


Of the pictures you posted it's somewhere between the first two. It's most like the writing, not the swab, on the goulet picture.


I have a bottle and like it a lot but don't love it so at that price I probably won't buy again. If you're interested in a sample, PM me.

Edited by theolu
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In an extra fine point (my Pilot Custom 74), it's an unimpressive dark blue. It will probably look quite different with a broader nib.

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Some time ago I did a series of Ink Reviews, which spun-off a set of comparisons amongst the ten inks, one which was asa-gao.


Here's the link to the OOTT Summary, which includes an index to the Reviews and Comparisons. https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php?/topic/196998-one-of-the-ten-blue-inks/




The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


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Odd anoria one of the reviews you linked says that asa-gao took longer than average to dry, almost every other review I read says it is a very fast drying ink.


I didn't read the reviews, only looked for the pics. But I disagree with it taking long to dry.

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Vibrant medium blue. The purple comes out under yellow interior light.

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."


B. Russell

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Asa-gao is a beautiful purple-tinted blue. Flows well...like Waterman Florida Blue: "if the pen won't write with Waterman / Asa-Gao, then the pen won't write at all". It does not look like Parker Penman Sapphire, but I like it almost as much. Not ultra-bright, like Baystate Blue, which is too bright for me.


Yes, worth the extra money.

Washington Nationals 2019: the fight for .500; "stay in the fight"; WON the fight

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Asa-Gao is definitely a purple-leaning medium blue. Nice color. Not as electric as your wide swab. Not a stand-in for PPS in any way. If you want a stand-in for PPS, there are several threads debating which is most like it. I put my money on PR American Blue and PR DC Supershow Blue (a 50/50 mix of these is very, very close).


I can't help you with the Baystate Blue, never used it.

Not all those who wander are lost. J.R.R.Tolkien

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Just started a bottle of Visconti blue which looks very "blue" to me. I have the asa gao and like it a lot. In wet pens looks great to me while in dry pens a little to feminine for my taste. I like a darker but very much blue ink. My other blue is aurora but in some pens it is quite pale and darker in others. Asa-Gao is a satisfying ink that will not harm or stain any pen. On good paper it is slow to dry since very wet and will sit on top of Rhodia type paper. With cheap paper it quickly absorbs and dries. The asa-gao is so expensive, that when the bottle is so low I can't fill my pens I use the rest with a syringe to fill cartridges (I need to get an ink pot, if they actually work).


Check out the Visconti Blue----

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Rich Vibrant Blue having a crisp look about it. Stands out in a page. Flow is good. I found drying time to be around 6 seconds.

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Have a look at Diamine Sapphire and R&K Konigsblau. The latter I've re-discovered and it's a cracker.

The Good Captain

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

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According to what I see on my screen, my asa-gao is somewhere between your vibrant medium and light. In any case, I consider mine to be a "medium". No harm meant, but to get a real comparison (of blue vs purple), you need swabs or writings with the same pen on the same paper, not 3 pics from 3 different sources. Take a look at Diamine's Asa-Gao, too.



Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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