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How a Pilot fountain pen nib is made


A Smug Dill
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I was rummaging through Pilot's web site — specifically trying to find published material talking about the origins or design intent of its PO (Posting) nibs — when I came across this, which appears to be added only on 28/7/2021 to a new (〈かく、がスキ〉, which Google translates as “I love you”) section of the web site to make the company more social media ‘hip’:

 

https://www.pilot.co.jp/media/assets/img/common/knowledge/web_manabu01_print_3.pdf

 

https://www.pilot.co.jp/media/knowledge/001.html

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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Nice find. I wonder what they mean by "tome, splash, and halay"? 

 

Aha! I suspected the Pilot factory was akin to Santa's workshop, with elves in employ!

37723336_Screenshot_2021-08-05-09-47-53-407_com.android.chrome2.jpg.ca91d113821fdadad97efc7aeb685747.jpg

Script nib for writing screenplays. • Fine nib for my best writing. • Extra fine for my *very* best writing. • Medium for requesting a séance. • Bold for adventure stories. • Manifold for many various types of writing. • Coarse for indignant letters. • Oblique for making a point in a roundabout way. • Stub for when I intend to leave a manuscript unfinis ... 

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"Splash" should probably be "bounce" (the Japanese word is "hane," two syllables, there are a lot of definitions, splash is the first one in my dictionary, bounce is further down). 

 

The other two words are harder. They are all written in katakana, which is usually reserved for borrowed words or foreign names, but I think these are actually Japanese words.

 

Tome (again, 2 syllables) has only one definition in my dictionary, "a stop," like a traffic stop sign, which doesn't make any sense to me in this context. It may have achieved some other colloquial meaning in the 40 years since I bought my dictionary. Maybe the quality of being well-finished or thoroughly finished with no steps left undone. 

 

The other word is actually harai (3 syllables technically, although it could be pronounced as with a diphthong) and it means purification, which makes a little more sense as possibly referring to the pure quality of the materials. 

 

Interesting link. My husband is from the town of Hiratsuka on the southern coast of Kanagawa Prefecture, which I have visited several times before I realized there is a Pilot factory there. I thought how neat if I could get in on some kind of tour, but then I realized it might be a factory for ballpoint pens or something. Still, one day I hope to at least find out. Maybe that's where they make these nibs. 

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36 minutes ago, Paul-in-SF said:

"Splash" should probably be "bounce" (the Japanese word is "hane," two syllables, there are a lot of definitions, splash is the first one in my dictionary, bounce is further down). 

 

The other two words are harder. They are all written in katakana, which is usually reserved for borrowed words or foreign names, but I think these are actually Japanese words.

 

Tome (again, 2 syllables) has only one definition in my dictionary, "a stop," like a traffic stop sign, which doesn't make any sense to me in this context. It may have achieved some other colloquial meaning in the 40 years since I bought my dictionary. Maybe the quality of being well-finished or thoroughly finished with no steps left undone. 

 

The other word is actually harai (3 syllables technically, although it could be pronounced as with a diphthong) and it means purification, which makes a little more sense as possibly referring to the pure quality of the materials. 

 

Interesting link. My husband is from the town of Hiratsuka on the southern coast of Kanagawa Prefecture, which I have visited several times before I realized there is a Pilot factory there. I thought how neat if I could get in on some kind of tour, but then I realized it might be a factory for ballpoint pens or something. Still, one day I hope to at least find out. Maybe that's where they make these nibs. 

 

Egg on my face - I didn't notice my browser automatically translated the Japanese. 

Script nib for writing screenplays. • Fine nib for my best writing. • Extra fine for my *very* best writing. • Medium for requesting a séance. • Bold for adventure stories. • Manifold for many various types of writing. • Coarse for indignant letters. • Oblique for making a point in a roundabout way. • Stub for when I intend to leave a manuscript unfinis ... 

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3 hours ago, PithyProlix said:

I wonder what they mean by "tome, splash, and halay"?

 

large.1436920656_Pilotsmentionoftomehaneandharai.jpg.5755b1a33493564513254840f84af741.jpg

 

They are types of pen strokes in Japanese calligraphy.

 

large.948271341_JapaneseCalligraphysitesexplanationoftomehaneandharai.jpg.25dccd2920c94b873486331220664152.jpg

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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4 minutes ago, A Smug Dill said:

 

large.1436920656_Pilotsmentionoftomehaneandharai.jpg.cf21b3de3ba5620db22dda8e76f263a9.jpg

 

They are types of pen strokes in Japanese calligraphy.

 

large.948271341_JapaneseCalligraphysitesexplanationoftomehaneandharai.jpg.25dccd2920c94b873486331220664152.jpg

 

Yes, those were the automatically translated terms I meant. (Of course some of their gold nibs are not very elastic and wouldn't support forming those strokes at all, I think.)

 

Thanks for the interesting information!

Script nib for writing screenplays. • Fine nib for my best writing. • Extra fine for my *very* best writing. • Medium for requesting a séance. • Bold for adventure stories. • Manifold for many various types of writing. • Coarse for indignant letters. • Oblique for making a point in a roundabout way. • Stub for when I intend to leave a manuscript unfinis ... 

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3 hours ago, Paul-in-SF said:

My husband is from the town of Hiratsuka on the southern coast of Kanagawa Prefecture, which I have visited several times before I realized there is a Pilot factory there. I thought how neat if I could get in on some kind of tour, but then I realized it might be a factory for ballpoint pens or something. Still, one day I hope to at least find out. Maybe that's where they make these nibs. 

I can confirm that they made nibs there. I have one nib made in their Hiratsuka plant ( made in Hiratsuka, April of 1976). They still do make nibs there, apparently.

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Whoa, thank you for that information. I never thought to try to confirm it here on FPN, but of course now I think, where else? 

 

Makes it more likely that I will want to go visit the in-laws again one of these years. 

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Very cool find. If I understand that page correctly, are they claiming that they are one of or the only company that produces all of the components for the nib (tipping, &c.) in house? 

 

I am glad that Pilot is making such pages. 

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