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Nakaya Seems Determined To Disappoint Me


jmccarty3
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It was discouraging enough when Nakaya announced that they no longer would be taking orders for the dorsal fin models. Now I discover that the Shiro-tamenuri finish, the most beautiful one they make, will no longer be available. They seem determined to sell only what is common or ugly.

 

It's difficult enough to commit to a Nakaya when it's almost impossible to see or hold one without traveling to Japan. I did get to write for a few seconds with a Naka-ai at the DC show, thanks to the generosity of its owner, and it was marvelous, but it's the only one I've ever laid hands on.

 

I have heard all sorts of excuses for the discontinuation of the dorsal fins, most of them having to do with the long waiting time. Guess what, guys, people are willing to wait, and they are willing to pay what the traffic will bear. Nakaya's motto implies that they do custom work, "for your hand only," but all we seem to hear nowadays is that they're not willing to make something.

 

Perhaps Nakaya should limit itself to portables in Aka-Tamenuri with medium nibs. At least then we would know what to expect. :angry:

Rationalizing pen and ink purchases since 1967.

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Yes, the "for your hand only" is just B.S. I once contacted Nakaya about a custom job. Their response was that they don't make it and don't intend to make it. They are as cookie cutter as any Montblanc or Pelikan.

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Yes, the "for your hand only" is just B.S. I once contacted Nakaya about a custom job. Their response was that they don't make it and don't intend to make it. They are as cookie cutter as any Montblanc or Pelikan.

That's unfortunate. What was the job you were wanting to request, if you don't mind my asking? I recall that user AltecGreen has a few shades of urushi developed especially for him. and other users getting custom Maki-e work. Maybe they just have too much demand for their pens now.

Edited by rpsyed
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...Now I discover that the Shiro-tamenuri finish, the most beautiful one they make, will no longer be available. They seem determined to sell only what is common or ugly.

If you like it so much, buy it while it is still available. Vote for this finish with your wallet. If enough people buy, they will get the message.

Edited by hari317

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I guess its time to shift to Hakase and Ohashido?

Yes, shift please.

But Hakase can't take that much demand. He manufactures ~120 pens a year and if the Nakaya demand goes to him, we are again looking at 2 year waiting period. :P

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dhruv well thats an opportunity if you make pens for the folks whatsay?

Pilot custom heritage 74 all nibs, 742 Fa and PO nibs, 823 F 92 F,M, 3776 FM,EF,1911F

And all indian pens

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Jim, you travelled from Ft. Worth to Washington DC for the show, so maybe you'd consider the LA show (usually in February)? John Mottishaw's nibs.com usually has a large table at the LA shows. For the last few years he had a series of Nakaya desk pens with almost all the different nib choices inked and available for trying. He also had a huge range of Nakayas on display that you could purchase.

 

If you want to see and try Nakayas, this is the place to go!

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I just emailed nibs.com to see if they have any Shiro-tamenuris left. There may be a portable writer in stock--don't like the idea of a clip, but that's what his list says is left. There's also a decapod that I could live with. As best I can determine, the notice that the Shiro-tamenuri finish was discontinued just went up within the last few days. No warning saying you'd better order one of these now, because we won't take any new orders after date certain. If I strike out with these, I might consider coming out to LA.

Rationalizing pen and ink purchases since 1967.

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@jmccarty3 – If you'd like to test drive a range of Nakayas, I echo the suggestion of coming to the L.A. pen show. Sure enough, nibs.com has a series of desk pens with the entire range of nibs for you to try out, as well as a number of other pen models, so that you can get a feel for them if you like. And John M. is there and will be happy to answer whatever questions you might have about them. I'm sure that if you contacted them in advance with models / colors you'd like to see / try, they'd do their best to have them on hand.

 

FWIW, I hemmed and hawed quite a while before getting my first Nakaya, which I first tried at the L.A. show a couple of years ago. Later bought a second one and foresee a third in my future. I will check it out at the next show and, based on how the 2–3 colors I'm considering look in person, proceed from there.

Écrire c’est tenter de savoir ce qu’on écrirait si on écrivait. – M. Duras

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From my approximation, it seems they have combined Heki and Shiro into one shade and call it Heki. In other words, the early model Heki's were quite green in the under color, but have become progressively more and more tan-ish as the years have gone by. Now, I would guess, the newer Heki's are so close to the Shiro's that they figured they might as well nix the less popular one.

 

These are just my guesses based on what I have observed.

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For anyone looking for a substitute, Danitrio's Ki-dame looks fairly close. The Danitrio finish leans more yellow/gold, while Shiro leaned more tan/beige but it's a decent substitute, I think. The downside is the cost is more than what Nakaya charged for a Shiro-tamenuri pen.

 

 

http://www.nibs.com/www/WEBSITE%20PICS/Danitrio/danitirio-sho-hakkaku-ki-dame-yellow-uncapped.jpg

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supposed that all of these Urushi came from a single manufacturer then... something must have happened to the quality of the supply chain unless someone personally knows whats happening to the Urushi manufacturers in Japan
from top of my head is that they are a rapidly aging and dying industry...

Edited by Algester
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actually when I say about the Urushi manufacturers thats found in Wajima City, Ishikawa Prefecture (supposedly someone verified the fact the pens are sent to this city for Urushi coating)... but yes there's also the fact that they are slowly dying... not because of economy I would say... its just that they really are just getting old

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Absolutely Yoshida San has an interesting interview that touches on this and a very sweet piccolo too ....

http://inkypassion.com/2015/08/25/in-conversation-with-nakaya-nibmeister-shinichi-yoshida/

Very cool, thanks for sharing. Interesting about one craftsman specializing in one color, and would help to explain why when one retires, a color may have to retire with him as it can't be easily replicated (ao, shiro)

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