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).
I 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:
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. 🙂