EveryThink Ink Library

More information on the ink test procedure here

Part 1 – Playing The Iroshizuku Blues – Ajisai, Ama Iro, Asa Gao, Kon Peki, Shin Kai, Tsuyu Kusa

Part 3 – Of Pinks and Purples Besides – Fuyu Gaki, Kosumosu, Momiji, Murasaki Shikibu, Tsutsuji, Yama Budo

Skipping ahead?

Part 4 – It’s Getting Dark – Fuyu Syogun, Kiri Same, Ku Jaku, Take Sumi, Tsuki Yo, Yu Yake


 

This post is a continuation of the Pilot Iroshizuku ink series. If you missed Part 1 of the Pilot Iroshizuku tests, feel free to drop by the link. Otherwise, enjoy the rest of the feature.

This set of inks was was selected for their generally earthy tones, with turquoise making its way towards the greens and browns. As usual, the Pilot Iroshizuku inks in this set are generally on the dry side, yet maintain a vibrancy and lubrication that is actually fairly surprising; One would ordinarily expect the drier inks to be harsh on paper, but these do not seem to exhibit that property.

Amongst the six inks herein are some truly outstanding properties, especially with regard to sheening. Without further preamble, let’s move on to the review proper.

Pilot Iroshizuku Chiku Rin

Pilot Iroshizuku Chiku-Rin is a color that translates to bamboo forest. I would assume this is a reference to the forests of giant bamboo, which in turn are actually giant grasses. This makes for a rather meta description, what with a reference to giant giant grasses. Oh my.

The ink itself is a youthful yellow green reminiscent of the young shoots one would expect to find growing from the bamboo plants. Incidentally, bamboo shoots also do grow rather vigorously, attaining inches of growth overnight. Pilot Iroshizuku Chiku Rin does grow roots of its own, feathering ever so slightly. Oddly for an ink of this lightness, Chiku Rin does not seem to shade very much at all. This is slightly disappointing, but is by no means a deal breaker.

In fact, this ink has proven to be remarkably resilient, with a high degree of resistance to a casual smudging and even maintains good legibility after a soak. It also seems to have a dark cyan core that is particularly stubborn. Presumably this means the ink is now too light for most serious uses in the office, clings stubbornly to one’s paper and probably equally stubbornly to one’s clothing. Spring has sprung indeed.

Shading – Slight
Bleedthrough – Limited
Feathering – Very slight
Sheen – None
Smear Resistance – Considerable
Drip Resistance – Moderate
Flow – Dry

Pilot Iroshizuku Shin Ryoku

This particular Pilot Iroshizuku ink translates as forest green, presumably related to the temperate forests that are found throughout the spine of Japan. It runs a deep green with a slight bluish influence, which reminds me of Graf von Faber-Castell’s Moss Green.

Pilot Iroshizuku Shin Ryoku almost seems to want to have a purplish sheen that is common to inks in the neighbourhood of this hue, but stop short of having anything but the faintest of purple, which I can only identify as shading and not quite a proper sheen.

As an ink, Shin Ryoku seems to shade fairly nicely, exhibiting good variance of color. However, it seems to lack a finer transition between the tones, so it winds up going fairly abruptly from a dark green to a lighter tone without a gentle gradient in between. Upon smudging, the ink proves to be barely resistant, and most definitely not resistant on a drip test. This is a forest that probably would not stand in the face of a tsunami. However, it does serve rather nicely as a green ink with authority, for those who are careful with their work.

Shading – Moderate, abrupt transition between tones.
Bleedthrough – None
Feathering – None
Sheen – Very very faint metallic purple
Smear Resistance – Negligible
Drip Resistance – None
Flow – Dry

Pilot Iroshizuku Syo Ro

Pilot Iroshizuku Syo Ro takes the forest metaphor further with its name translating to pine tree dew. I reckon this would mean the dew one finds on the pine needles as the sun just breaches the horizon. It is in fact a very nice blue black that leans towards teal, reminiscent of the blue green that I have come to associate with evergreens. The ink goes on with a richer color than the duskier result you see here when it dries.

On the topic of dew, all I can say is this ink glitters. That is to say that it has a very pronounced metallic red sheen with hints of purple. In fact I had a hard time identifying exactly which color this sheen was, considering how much it was changing as I angled the paper trying to get a read on it. As an ink, the magnitude of and color sheen actually reminds me of Pilot Iroshizuku Shin Kai, but the sheen stands out differently on this green, exhibiting more of the red.

Syo Ro seems to slightly resist smudging, but it is no match for a soaking. It does happen to be the wettest ink of this batch, however, so I reckon the dew moniker is at least somewhat well earned. This is an ink that, while one may expect it to shade as seen in the flex stroke on the right of the test, the ink is sufficiently dark that any shading is only minimally apparent at best. Like Shin Ryoku, Pilot Iroshizuku Syo Ro falls in the family of dark green inks, and can be regarded to be suited to professional correspondence that calls for such an ink.

Shading – Minimal
Bleedthrough – None
Feathering – None
Sheen – Metallic red with a hint of purple
Smear Resistance – Limited
Drip Resistance – None
Flow – Normal

Pilot Iroshizuku Tsukushi

This Pilot Iroshiuzku bears the name Tsukushi, which apparently refers to the Horsetail Plant. Sadly, I have no personal experience with Horsetail Plants, and the images I see of these herbs seem to show green stems and little else. I figure Tsukushi must refer to the Horsetail Plant when it has dried out in autumn.

Tsukushi itself is a red brown ink that prefers its brown side of the family. It maintains a subtle but distinctive sheen that reads metallic green with some gold. This is a sheen that is only apparent when one is actively looking out for it, and is unlikely to show up on normal writing with campus quality Japanese paper.

Pilot Iroshizuku Tsukushi is in fact quite resistant to a smear, in that while most of the red seems to have come out in a single dab, the darker elements of the color cling stubbornly to the paper. It is less resistant to a soaking, but is actually slightly legible after. This color is sufficiently brown that it will not be mistaken for a black, but I do believe it is sufficiently dark to maintain that degree of seriousness that office folk may appreciate. That ready red splash from a wetting may also be welcome to some artists.

Shading – Minimal
Bleedthrough – None
Feathering – None
Sheen – Metallic green with some gold
Smear Resistance – Considerable
Drip Resistance – Minimal, still legible after a soaking.
Flow – Dry

Pilot Iroshizuku Yama Guri

Pilot Iroshizuku Yama Guri is apparently the wild mountain chestnut. I have not personally seen a chestnut up in mountains (not that I have visited enough for me to qualify as an expert on matters of mountains) but I have eaten horse chestnuts. This particular Yama Guri seems to be geared more towards the deeper dark brown relative to  the red browns I am accustomed to see on chestnuts.

This ink brings back memories, because I first encountered it a couple years back in one of my ink samples when I was on a quest to acquire my grail ink. This fell under the sepia category, mostly inspired by squid sepia and its generally purple quality. Of course, Yama Guri clearly isn’t a purple, even though on wetting it does show up something of a squid sepia coloration.

Iroshizuku Yama Guri is possessed of a subtle metallic green-gold sheen, which is also unlikely to show up in common fountain pen use. I imagine it might were the nib exceptionally wide and wet…perhaps something a Pilot Parallel may achieve, or a dip nib.

Yama Guri is of moderate dryness, and quite resistant to illegibility on a smudge. It is also vaguely readable after a soak. Laid on thick, this ink is actually easily mistaken for a black, which makes it a nice candidate for an office ink if one’s workplace is less than flexible on ink colors (hah! Joke’s on you, stern office management person!).

Shading – None
Bleedthrough – None
Feathering – None
Sheen – Metallic green-gold
Smear Resistance – Considerably legible after a smudge
Drip Resistance – Minimal
Flow – Dry

Pilot Iroshizuku Ina Ho

Ina Ho translates as rice ear, and this particular Pilot Iroshizuku ink is now in the familiar territory of Asian staple grain on the sheaf. Rice, with its husk on, is indeed of a general straw brown, though the numerous varieties of rice in Asia would mean that I have to assume this refers to some sort of Japanese rice, of which I only know Koshihikakri.

Ina Ho is interestingly grainy for a Pilot Iroshizuku ink, and forms dots on paper akin to the graininess I’ve seen on Chiku Rin. While Ina Ho possesses absolutely no sheen, it does shade rather nicely and this presents some highlighting to the characters as they are written.

Iroshizuku Ina Ho is only barely resistant to the smudge, but like Chiku Rin, it does seem to leave a bluish ghost that remains when the soaking is done. I suppose this ink cannot be classified as one of the Office Approved ™ colors, but I think it is a sufficiently pretty straw brown as to be worthy of the honor of sitting in some pen that gets pulled out when some fun is to be had.

Shading – Moderate
Bleedthrough – Slight
Feathering – Slight
Sheen – None
Smear Resistance – Minimal
Drip Resistance – Minimal, blue ghost remaining
Flow – Dry

 

And that concludes this particular Pilot Iroshizuku ink test. If you have missed the previous part of the ink test, have a gander down at the link below.

Part 1 – Playing The Iroshizuku Blues – Ajisai, Ama Iro, Asa Gao, Kon Peki, Shin Kai, Tsuyu Kusa

Part 3 – Of Pinks and Purples Besides – Fuyu Gaki, Kosumosu, Momiji, Murasaki Shikibu, Tsutsuji, Yama Budo

Skipping ahead?

Part 4 – It’s Getting Dark – Fuyu Syogun, Kiri Same, Ku Jaku, Take Sumi, Tsuki Yo, Yu Yake

[Ink test Library] Click here for all previous ink tests

 

 

 

 

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