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A True Souvenir From Japan: Japan Blue Oita Made (Jetlagged Quick Look)


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Went to Itoya to pick up a grail before we left Japan then saw this during the wait:




They had the Lamy Anniversary Bauhaus Blue edition but we went for Japan Blue instead.


That terrible refrain, "I don't need another pen" follow by the follow-up analysis and sleep over/can't sleep over decision making oscillation worked its way to purchase this fine souvenir.


Wanted a remembrance of our 1st time in Japan and this fit the bill:

  • Made in Japan
  • Love of local/regional companies, handcrafted
  • Traditional craft of indigo and hammering metal technique
  • It's a metal Sailor to Oita Made spec
  • Unique

I wanted a Medium but the last one was only a Fine and the missus loved it too.


I have to share :o It's more of a family pen :rolleyes:





Midnight blue purple indigo. Indigenous textiles was another hobby in a past life and the tie in of anodized indigo was a great pull. Visually, it's an eyecatcher and smartphone down-res photography does not do it justice. This is an accurate observation: "...a unique beauty that cannot be explained by photography" My color range is pretty conservative so for Japan Blue to make an impression spoke volumes.


The pen was paired with Sailor Shikiori Nioi-Sumire to match the indigo body. My wife has the color instinct as the ink sticker bore no shade resemblance to the actual color swatch which is much darker. Though to my old eyes and the ton of blue ink variants we have, I cannot see the specialness of Nioi-Sumire other than it's the best Sailor match we could see.



Hammered aluminum body, light unposted, slightly backweighted posted. Black plastic section is comfortable. I've only handled Classic Pens silver Sailor so if there are other metal Sailors let me know. :blush: Thankfully it's not heavy :)


I'm a serial poster but am a little concerned about the design choice of 2 pins to hold the cap in place which posts with a click. I understand the choice over friction fit posting but it is an area for potential flaw should the pins loosen over time. I'll probably be dead before it fails though and luckily it is a great writer unposted.


Nib: As stated, it is a Sailor Fine though I am fond of Sailor M at least the KOP version. Japan Blue completes my range: EF, F, MF, M


Overall impression: Japan Blue is a great souvenir of our time in Japan whose craft, people and culture is much to be remembered and thankful for. Manufacture is backed by an established company, Sailor and their quality is consistent and reliable.


Here are some relevant links:


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I dunno why but this pen is very pretty and does nothing for me. I think it's the rhodium trim. I'd have been all about it in blue/gold. But somehow it just looks kinda cheap for some reason.


But it's definitely personal taste, and I hope you love it!

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)

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There's so much to love about this pen: the craftsmanship, the colour, the material, the hammering. It looks like you made a great decision, and the sleepless night (man, can I empathize with that "oscillation") seems well worth it. One sleepless night vs a lifetime of enjoyment. Seems like a fair trade.


Enjoy the pen. And thanks for the review...


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Thank you for all the comments. The jetlag has wore off :)


A few more comments:


For those interested, I think if there is sufficient demand OITA MADE has a history of successive runs, last one in Oct 2019 or maybe check Wancher will restock, though ours has no Wancher branding.


I'd like to see more of these new material offerings: metal, carbon fiber, etc or various techniques like this tsuiki hammering in the old Pilot Sailor Platinum standards but for now looks like this is all boutique niche.


We hit all the known suspects for our first time in central Japan, mainly Tokyo: Itoya, Maruzen, Bungubox, Shoseikan, Morita-san, Kingdom Note, Eboya but surprisingly I was not moved by all the rich variety (a warning sign of peak pen).


Nonetheless, the souvenir concept of purchase rationalization was helpful, ".. but Honey, that was the grail I was waiting for, and this one is really to remember our wonderful trip together..." B)


I really wanted a Realo Music nib but did not have the souvenir quality plus she fell in love with it too, so OITA MADE fit the bill plus it came at the very last leg of our journey.


Oddly, from the high tech anodization, there will be no wabi-sabi value added fading like urushi, but instead the persistence of Indigo will fondly remind of that wonderful time years later.


Another shot in natural light against a tenmoku glazed sake cup


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  • 4 weeks later...

Looks lovely! Im not much into grail pens yet this looks like it will be a great ED use pen! Love the stained wood desk :)

"If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live."

– Lin Yu-T'ang

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