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Ugly Maki-E Kanji/chinese Characters On Nakaya Pens?



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Hi everyone,

 

I have recently decided to purchase my first Nakaya pen, settled for a Neostandard, Kuro-Tamenuri, with clip, Zogan and chinese characters. Since I practice Chinese calligraphy, the characters are a part of the pen I really pay attention to. In this particular, I hope you will forgive my honesty, I have found most of the writing done in Nakaya pens to be very ugly.

 

Now, I don't know if this is because of the level of difficulty that is certainly involved in writing characters on a pen, but on the other hand, I look at some of the intricate designs that other Nakaya pens have and I just don't think they don't have an artist capable of writing better characters. It might be that this is why Nakayas are cheaper compared to, say, Danitrio pens?

 

Don't get me wrong,I'm have seen some characters written beautifully on some Nakaya pens, but most of what I've seen isn't very good in my opinion. I mean, look at the great design, great urushi finishing...the characters are just not as good as some other aspects of the pen. When I asked Nakaya about changing the caligraphy style to cursive (行书,行草), they told me they could not do it, but could copy any script I provided them for two hundred dollars.

 

Of course, I might be completely wrong, for taste is very subjective and personal, yet, after appreciating Chinese caligraphy for many years, I still think they could do a much better job.

 

I would appreciate if anyone has any input on this.

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Keyless Works

I don't read or practice Chinese calligraphy so they look beautiful to me. I did get this sweet tattoo though:

 

http://i.huffpost.com/gadgets/slideshows/245012/slide_245012_1384187_free.jpg

 

It means "Man of Freedom"

 

If it's important to you and you are set on a Nakaya $200 isn't so bad.

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I can't understand the first character.bwhat is it?

Great tattoo. ;)

 

Edit: of course, it's upside down. 苦。

Edited by Marino
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shock_milan

As a native Japanese speaker I don't think those kanjis are ugly, at all. I'm rather impressed by its modest, subtle style. It really reflects the concept of Wabi. (as in wabi sabi)

 

I know traditional calligraphy emphasizes a rich amount of line variation in thick, robust style. But that kind of style won't suit with Nakaya, IMHO. It's also good to know that Chinese and Japanese kanjis aren't exactly the same.

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shock_milan

I don't read or practice Chinese calligraphy so they look beautiful to me. I did get this sweet tattoo though:

 

http://i.huffpost.com/gadgets/slideshows/245012/slide_245012_1384187_free.jpg

 

It means "Man of Freedom"

 

If it's important to you and you are set on a Nakaya $200 isn't so bad.

Are you sure this is on your body?

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As a native Japanese speaker I don't think those kanjis are ugly, at all. I'm rather impressed by its modest, subtle style. It really reflects the concept of Wabi. (as in wabi sabi)

 

I know traditional calligraphy emphasizes a rich amount of line variation in thick, robust style. But that kind of style won't suit with Nakaya, IMHO. It's also good to know that Chinese and Japanese kanjis aren't exactly the same.

 

I guess it might be a matter of taste. I can see how you might think of them subtle, but I'm afraid I disagree with you. I don't know what is Wabi, but if you write the characters I might understand if they are the same in Chinese.

 

I wasn't talking just about line variation, but rather the style of writing, details that can make lettering beautiful or just plane ugly such as shape of the traces, relation in size and distance, angles etc. oh well, can't have everything, I guess.

Edited by Marino
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Keyless Works

Haha no I don't have any tattoos but I do enjoy seeing tattoo failures.

 

http://i.huffpost.com/gadgets/slideshows/245012/slide_245012_1384870_free.jpg

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shock_milan

I guess it might be a matter of taste. I can see how you might think of them subtle, but I'm afraid I disagree with you. I don't know what is Wabi, but if you write the characters I might understand if they are the same in Chinese.

 

I wasn't talking just about line variation, but rather the style of writing, details that can make lettering beautiful or just plane ugly such as shape of the traces, relation in size and distance, angles etc. oh well, can't have everything, I guess.

Yea, it's a really subjective matter. After all they are all someone's handwriting, and you know nobody has perfect handwriting.

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shock_milan

Haha no I don't have any tattoos but I do enjoy seeing tattoo failures.

PHEWWW!(wipe my forehead)

I was so worried about that tattoo. You better be sorry. :angry:

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Yea, it's a really subjective matter. After all they are all someone's handwriting, and you know nobody has perfect handwriting.

 

Indeed.
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bardharlock

Mine is perfect. Perfectly atrocious. Is there a chance you could send them the characters you want and ask if they could even get the details of the brushstrokes?

"In this world... you must be oh, so smart, or oh, so pleasant. Well for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant."

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Mine is perfect. Perfectly atrocious. Is there a chance you could send them the characters you want and ask if they could even get the details of the brushstrokes?

I suppose were talking about the pen and not the tattoo...:)

I sent them the characters but they said they could only write as it is displayed on their website. Other style needs to add 200.

Im curious now. You mean to say you don't like the way your characters came out ?

Edited by Marino
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I suppose were talking about the pen and not the tattoo...:)

I sent them the characters but they said they could only write as it is displayed on their website. Other style needs to add 200.

Im curious now. You mean to say you don't like the way your characters came out ?

Could you buy the pen and then have someone like Ernest Shin add the characters afterwards?

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Could you buy the pen and then have someone like Ernest Shin add the characters afterwards?

Good idea. I'll ask him and see what he says.

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Hi everyone,

 

I have recently decided to purchase my first Nakaya pen, settled for a Neostandard, Kuro-Tamenuri, with clip, Zogan and chinese characters. Since I practice Chinese calligraphy, the characters are a part of the pen I really pay attention to. In this particular, I hope you will forgive my honesty, I have found most of the writing done in Nakaya pens to be very ugly.

 

Now, I don't know if this is because of the level of difficulty that is certainly involved in writing characters on a pen, but on the other hand, I look at some of the intricate designs that other Nakaya pens have and I just don't think they don't have an artist capable of writing better characters. It might be that this is why Nakayas are cheaper compared to, say, Danitrio pens?

 

Don't get me wrong,I'm have seen some characters written beautifully on some Nakaya pens, but most of what I've seen isn't very good in my opinion. I mean, look at the great design, great urushi finishing...the characters are just not as good as some other aspects of the pen. When I asked Nakaya about changing the caligraphy style to cursive (行书,行草), they told me they could not do it, but could copy any script I provided them for two hundred dollars.

 

Of course, I might be completely wrong, for taste is very subjective and personal, yet, after appreciating Chinese caligraphy for many years, I still think they could do a much better job.

 

I would appreciate if anyone has any input on this.

 

Can you show some examples of what you consider good vs. bad? I also can appreciate high-quality Chinese calligraphy (although I wouldn't necessarily expect the tiny writing on these pens to be shining examples), but I'd like to see what you're talking about.

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value.--Thomas Paine, "The American Crisis", 1776

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Can you show some examples of what you consider good vs. bad? I also can appreciate high-quality Chinese calligraphy (although I wouldn't necessarily expect the tiny writing on these pens to be shining examples), but I'd like to see what you're talking about.

 

Grace,

 

In all fairness, I was browsing Google pictures to find some exemples of Nakaya Kanji Maki-e and most of what I found was actually ok. It wasn't very good and I still expected more from Nakaya calligraphers, especially when compared to the overall quality of the pen, but what I found on Google pictures was better that the other examples I had seen. Maybe in those the artist wasn't in a good day....

 

Still, look at the characters in the following link and those written in the two attached pictures. It's all about angles, proportion, style, distances....maybe it's just a matter of personal taste but I can't see how the level of expertise in the caligraphy on Nakaya pens matches these two examples.

 

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/uploads/imgs/fpn_1376332610__img_0758.jpg

post-107171-0-18936800-1432851190_thumb.jpg

post-107171-0-89238600-1432851202_thumb.jpg

Edited by Marino
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There's an incredible variation in calligraphic styles. The Nakaya example is more like formal "clerical" style, as opposed to the grass or running styles. I agree with you that it's fairly basic and much less artistic than the written examples you gave. But it's also not horrible. And in practical terms, there's quite a difference between writing on paper and painting thin lines on a pen barrel. (After months of work making the maki-e design, think about the pressure on this person painting the kanji characters!) I'd give them a pass.

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value.--Thomas Paine, "The American Crisis", 1776

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There's an incredible variation in calligraphic styles. The Nakaya example is more like formal "clerical" style, as opposed to the grass or running styles. I agree with you that it's fairly basic and much less artistic than the written examples you gave. But it's also not horrible. And in practical terms, there's quite a difference between writing on paper and painting thin lines on a pen barrel. (After months of work making the maki-e design, think about the pressure on this person painting the kanji characters!) I'd give them a pass.

Sure. As I said, I found the caligraphy on Nakayas less worse after browsing some more pictures, but still consider it to be subpair in comparison to other hgh quality laments of the pen. Yes, it's not horrible (far from it), but I guess I just wanted the caligraphy to be as good as the urushi finishing, or the balance, or the design.

 

Oh well.

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