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Hakase Event At Ken's Cafe


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I booked prior to the meeting for 11:30. I ended up arriving 10 minutes late.


I apologized for arriving late, and I sat down in the back corner where Ryo Yamamoto set up his pens.


Mr.Yamamoto spoke enough English to communicate about pens and some small talk. He offered to purchase a drink of my choice, and I ended up getting Earl Grey tea.


I received a business card in Japanese. He told me he ran out of English cards.


The pens that Mr.Yamamoto brought were of various materials, lengths, nib sizes, shapes, clip designs, and rings. Basically the pens covered the current line up of pens. He also brought a Amboyna Burl Urushi pen that is currently not in production.


Most of the pens had Pilot nibs (both 10 and 15) and only 1 Sailor nib. The nibs were from EF-2B. There was also a 2B stub (to be differentiated from a 2B ball nib). The only nib missing was a 3B nib that was listed on the order form.


Here are my thoughts about the materials:


Jade celluloid (new and regular): glossy feel, nothing that really stood out in terms of feel in the hand


Marble ebonite: an ebonite feel, really lovely appearance (first time seeing marble ebonite)


Rosewood, Cocobolo, Ebony: I honestly can't tell much of a difference between them in terms of feel. Since they were of different sizes in pens, my thought about one material being denser might just be accounting for the longer pen.


Water Buffalo: glossier feel than the two celluloid pens that I did not find very pleasant in hand. Very nice appearance however.


Tortoise shell and Ebony: Gorgeous to look at (the tortoise shell). I don't remember how it felt as I only used it once.


The nibs that I enjoyed the most were the Pilot MF and M. All the nibs were rather smooth and great to write with.


Mr.Yamamoto jotted down notes for my handwriting on the order sheet after intently watching how I wrote with his tester pens.


He showed that the pen with barrel bands can line up with the cap with 4 twists of the cap. I found it rather interesting.


I was also able to try out his two variations of sepia ink. I enjoyed the dark sepia ink more as it had more of an impact on paper.


The pen that I ended up ordering was gw15f with a MF nib without the section ring (https://fp-hakase.com/en/works/gw15f/). The pen measurements that we ended up talking about had the pen being 125mm long from section to the end. We did discuss about whether a 125mm for posted or unposted would be better. My impression was that he thought it better for a posted pen in my hands. While I did want a con-70 to fit in the pen, the length he mentioned did not work with the length I had in mind. I will probably just use cartridges rather than the con-40 for the pen.


I had brought some of the paper that I used at home to test the pens with. Mr.Yamamoto asked at the end whether he could have the papers as a reference for my handwriting and possibly to tune to the paper. I was a bit taken back, but felt impressed that he would go to that extent.


The whole experience with Ryo Yamamoto was pleasant and it certainly paints itself as my favorite thing so far I've done on this trip in Japan. I would highly recommend anyone else interested in Hakase pens to talk with Mr.Yamamoto and order a pen in person.

Edited by 25_15_3
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I looked the pen up. Lovely choice. Congrats. Also thanks for the report. It's like entering a shop and putting in a custom order. Nice.

Edited by hari317

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What a wonderful experience! Thanks for sharing and congratulations! Be sure to share when it arrives.

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What does the marble ebonite look like? The only ebonite I see on the Hakase website has ebonite with straight lines. Is it squiggly like the Eboya ebonite?

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this is something i would have loved to do myself. it's been on my list for quite sometime now, but i never had the chance to visit their shop in Tottori, Japan. hope i get to do so in near future.


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What does the marble ebonite look like? The only ebonite I see on the Hakase website has ebonite with straight lines. Is it squiggly like the Eboya ebonite?



Yea I meant the ebonite that is on the Hakase website. I mixed up woodgrain and marble.

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