Tag: iroshizuku

Ink Swab: Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-Kai


Shink-Kai (Deep Sea) is one color in a set of three that I bought from Everything Calligraphy last week. Honestly I picked it because I wanted to expand my collection of blue inks, but it wasn’t even my second choice. After trying it out, it promptly dislodged Tsuki-Yo as my favorite blue ink (though I still love Tsuki-Yo, of course).

PB258795I was a little hesitant about it because it seemed like a run-of-the-mill stock blue ink. I was so wrong. This leans more into the blue black category, but it’s more on the  blue side than on the black side. I like it because it’s a simple kind of blue black, not something that has confusing green undertones. Just a nice blue black which gets more greyish as it dries. It’s certainly far from boring blue.


In bright light, it shows as a vibrant, nicely saturated blue. Under gentler light and with more absorbent paper, the greyish undertones become more apparent. This blue is so easy and gentle on the eyes. It’s eye-catching in its own subtle way. The blue really pops out, especially when used with Tomoe River paper (what I used in this review).


It has a slight red sheen to it, although it’s not immediately noticeable. It sort of just gives the lines that you write that subtle red outline. The shading is also quite gorgeous. Check out a few close ups below:

You can see some of the subtle red sheen here.
Gorgeous shading!



Not very water resistant, but does leave some blue behind.

Lefties will like that this ink dries up relatively fast. It minimizes the risk of smudging. It’s not very water resistant, though it leaves traces of blue behind.


For an ink that dries up fast, it certainly flows very well. I would put the ink flow of Shin Kai as moderate to slightly wetter than moderate. It performs really well, as I’ve come to expect from these wonderful Iroshizuku inks. I would  imagine it would turn out differently if I use finer nibs, but I like how it pairs with my Franklin Christoph Model 02’s 1.1mm nib.

Overall, it’s a wonderful blue ink. It’s easy on the eyes, performs wonderfully, and produces beautiful shading. It’s a subdued blue that makes it great for everyday writing, but it’s not a boring, ordinary-looking kind of blue. I think the name fits it so well. 🙂

Inkses! Pretty Little Inkses!

Bless us and splash us, my precious! Inkses!


These cute little bottles! I picked out my favorite three Iro ink colors from Everything Calligraphy so I can give them as my exchange gift for the South Pen Meet but unfortunately I wasn’t able to go. So I sent back Yama-Guri and Tsuki Yo and exchanged them with Shin Kai and Syo Ro, and kept the Momiji in the set. Always a pleasure to deal with Jillian, such a nice and accommodating person. 🙂

These little bottles are too cute! Almost too cute to use! Almost.

Ink Swab: Pilot Iroshizuku Asa-Gao (Morning Glory)

Bexley Corona, 1.1 mm stub nib inked with Asa-Gao

I have to admit that I was waffling between another blue ink or a beautiful green ink to increase the greens in my collection. I just thought that Asa Gao seems to be a popular blue among my pen friends, I decided to see what all the love is about.

I have to admit that, again, Asa-Gao is a spot-on name for it. This blue ink positively pops out of the page in its vibrance without looking too unusual. It’s a very vibrant, vivid kind of blue.


It’s highly saturated and is not showy in terms of shading. It dries pretty fast and does not lose its vividness or vibrancy after its been dry for a while.


My first impression of this ink was that it had a purple glow to it. A closer look at the lines it lays down will show that it actually has a reddish sheen around the edges. It lends to the look that it has a purple undertone to it, especially in parts where the ink is darker on paper. Below are close up shots of the writing sample.



The red sheen isn’t obvious at first glance, though it does achieve the overall effect of a morning glory flower, which is to increase the vividness of the blue with a touch of red.


I must admit that as gorgeous as it is, it’s not exactly a very unique color. It’s not very complex nor does it have expressive shading or sheen. However, it is an excellent blue ink for daily use. It straddles that line between normal blue and vivid, unusually beautiful blue so perfectly.

It flows really well (like other Iroshizuku inks, no surprises there) and is very well-behaved even though it will stain your converter. If you’re looking for a blue ink for daily writing that stands out in vibrancy without looking too crazy…this is definitely it.

Ink Swab: Pilot Iroshizuku Ina-Ho (Rice Ear)

Cross Century II, Medium, inked with Ina-Ho

Iroshizuku Ina-Ho has always been a fascinating ink color for me. It’s one of those colors that you can’t simply peg down as yellow, brown or green. Kinda like Burma Road Brown, only this ink is in a class of its own.

Ina-ho with Asa-Gao on an Alunsina Journal (ivory-colored paper)

I’ve been using this ink extensively this week (two converters full, so far), and It’s a remarkably complex color. Again, the name Ina-Ho (Rice Ear) is very apt because it reminds me of golden grains of rice and their stalks.


With wider nib grades, it becomes more brown than golden green. Same with ivory-colored paper. In my Elias journal, it looks like a golden brown that’s close to the color of Lie de The, but not quite. In some lights it looks like golden green, in some, it looks like yellowish brown. Its hard to peg the color down.


It dries moderately fast, and though it’s not what I would call very water-resistant, some color does stay on paper. It’s not highly saturated at all. It is an expressive ink. There’s so much shading in it and when you take a closer look at the shading, that’s when the character of the ink really shines. Here are some close up shots of the writing sample.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


Like other Iroshizuku inks that i tried, it’s very well-behaved. It’s not prone to feathering or nib creep, but it does flow a tad drier. Or it could be that I need to change the pen that I’m currently using with it. I suppose it’s not the kind of ink that you would choose for daily writing in more formal settings, but it’s a very unique and beautiful shade. I don’t think that I own any ink similar to it.

6-Pen Lineup for the Week


I’ve been a very good girl. I haven’t breached my self-imposed “6-pen at a time” rule. Seeing that I have a few new iro inks, I decided to use all of them in my lineup this week, plus a Noodler’s ink because I did not think of buying a green iro ink (facepalm).


Here’s my line up for this week:
TWSBI Micarta, Medium – Yama-Guri (Wild Chesnut)
Pilot Vanishing Point, Medium – Tsuki-Yo (Moonlight)
Bexley BX802 1.1mm – Yama-Budo (Crimson Glory Vine)
Edison Pearlette, 1.1mm – Ina-Ho (Rice Ear)
Bexley Corona 1.1mm – Asa-Gao (Morning Glory)
Parker 51, Medium – Noodler’s Burma Road Brown (which writes more like a vintage green for my pen’s nib, my favorite Noodler’s ink)


It’s gonna be a happy, happy week. 🙂

A Few Iroshizuku Inks in the Mail


So this snugly bubble-wrapped package came in the mail for me today. It’s the inks I bought from createcrafts.ph, which I preordered back in Early February. It was a long wait, but I’m glad they’re finally here.


They’re Asa-Gao (Morning Glory), Yama-Budo (Crimson Glory Vine) and Ina-Ho (Rice Ear). All of them are gorgeous but I have to say that my favorite is (surprise, surprise) Ina-Ho. It’s a gorgeous, very organic-looking brown. I’m pretty much smitten by it.


Reviews coming soon-ish! 🙂

Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-Guri and a Japanese Brush Pen


A thoughtful gift from my friend who recently came home from a trip to Japan. Sigh, Japan. Home of the Iroshizuku inks. Someday I’ll get to see you too, and I shall eat takoyaki in your streets with utter abandon. Haha.

Anyway, the ink! I don’t know all of the English equivalents of the ink colors so I thought that it was black. A closer look at the ink showed that it’s brown, though. Apparently, Yama-Guri means “Wild Chesnut”. It’s a beautiful addition to my brown inks, and I’ll write a review as soon as I get decent photos of the writing samples.

The brush pen is also fun to use. I don’t know why I find brush pen calligraphy a bit easier to manage than dip pens. The pen itself is beautiful, though. The texture and design was meant to look hand-painted. I love it.


Ink Swab: Iroshizuku Tsuki-yo


I got this wonderful bottle of ink today as a gift from my pen bestie, Keshia. It’s my first Iroshizuku ink and I was very pleasantly surprised with it.

First off, I find the bottle so beautiful. It’s a gorgeous glass bottle that holds 50ml of gorgeous blue ink. It’s perhaps the prettiest ink bottle in my small ink collection. I like that I can see the ink sloshing about, and that it has this little funnel at the bottom that makes it easier to get ink even when the ink level is getting low.


The mouth of the bottle is also sufficiently wide and I like that it’s convenient for filling large pens even at an angle.

The ink flows really well. This is a very wet ink, although it does not feather on fountain pen friendly paper. One time I was trying out this wet ink (J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage) and it feathered and bled through like nobody’s business on my Elias journal (which never feathers of bleed through). This ink flows smoothly but behaves very well on paper. It is a bit susceptible to nib creep, but that’s okay with me.


I find Tsuki-yo to be a rather pleasant shade of darkish blue with some hints of green. Not too dark that I’d consider it a blue-black, though. I’d say it has medium saturation and, for very wet writers, some reddish shading.  Continue reading “Ink Swab: Iroshizuku Tsuki-yo”