EveryThink Ink Library

More information on the ink test procedure here

Missed the previous Pilot Iroshizuku ink features? View them here:

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

Part 2 – Getting Down To Earth – Chiku Rin, Ina Ho, Shin Ryoku, Syo Ro, Tsukushi, Yama Guri

Part 3 – In The Pink, And Purple Besides – 
Fuyu Gaki, Kosumosu, Momiji, Murasaki Shikibu, Tsutsuji, Yama Budo


While this final 6 Iroshizuku inks may seem to be something of a mixed bag, the selection is in fact quite heavy on elements of the inevitable darker season of the year and has in fact a nice range of greys, blacks and darker blues. I hope you enjoy the next installment of ink reviews!

Pilot Iroshizuku Yu Yake

Pilot Iroshizuku Yu Yake is a reference to the sunset. That, by my book, is usually those final moments of horror just before night falls and everything is well again. I have seen a fair share of flaming sunsets, and I think we can all attest to that very particular smoldering orange apparent during dawn and dusk. This ink seems to capture that particular experience, albeit being slightly anaemic at the attempt.

As a reddish orange that wants for fortitude, Iroshizuku Yu Yake is actually rather well behaved (shame on you, Iroshizuku Fuyu Gaki!). It is the kind of ink that resists a smudging rather handily, even though it is definitely not a friend of soaking. Not bad for a rather wet ink like this in fact. For an ink that is orange, it is of average wetness and shades moderately well. I would think that the Noodler’s Apache Sunset takes the cake for shading.

I am not a personal fan of orange inks, and this particular orange has the unfortunate tendency to dry into something of a pastel shade. Said plainly, it is not an outstanding Iroshizuku. It is also not quite red, which may not suit it as a candidate for office work. However, as a well behaved ink, I am sure this ink will find its followers.

Shading – Slight
Bleedthrough – None
Feathering – None
Sheen – None
Smear Resistance – Good
Drip Resistance – None
Flow – Wet

Pilot Iroshizuku Ku Jaku

Peacock is the name that Pilot Iroshizuku Ku Jaku goes by, and I must say that I am quite charmed to make its acquaintance. As a turquoise that is a deep and intriguing mixture of blues and greens that is quite reminiscent of the flamboyant plumage of the peacock.

Iroshizuku Ku Jaku has the metallic aspect of the peacock’s feathers writ…small. It maintains a faint metallic red-purple sheen when laid on thick, and shades into a most interesting marriage of blue and green. It draws the eye in somehow, and I really like its look. It reminds me of the Sailor Jentle Yama Dori ink, which I reckon I should review sometime as well.

As a daily writer I guess it might pass for a blue ink to the uninitiated, and that may be an advantage in sneaking non-formal colors into one’s everyday work. It leans on the wet side, and is friendly to neither smears nor soaks, so I would really recommend that one exercise caution while using this beauty.

Shading – Significant
Bleedthrough – None
Feathering – None
Sheen – Metallic reddish purple
Smear Resistance – Hardly any
Drip Resistance – Barely any
Flow – Normal-Wet

Pilot Iroshizuku Tsuki Yo

This, I really like. Pilot Iroshizuku Moonlight, also known as Iroshizuku Tsuki Yo. Now I am going to admit that as a nocturnal critter, midnight blue is right up my alley and I am very fond of that particular hue. This particular offering is a grey blue and looks pretty darn smart all by itself.

As a dry ink that somehow manages shading and still has a noticeable metallic reddish purple sheen, Iroshizuku Tsuki Yo does remind me of the glare of city lights off the water offset by the light of the moon. Typically, I would be rather wary of an ink that doesn’t like water. However, this particular ink actually looks pretty darn awesome when smudged, and I think it has potential for those who like painting with fountain pen inks.

Iroshizuku Tsuki Yo is the kind of midnight blue that can easily fit in with the serious crowd with a wink and a knowing smile, managing to look like a formal ink with a satisfying depth of color while blossoming into a lovely range of colors when introduced to water. This would be one of the inks I really would recommend to others.

Shading – Moderate
Bleedthrough – None
Feathering – None
Sheen – Metallic reddish purple
Smear Resistance –  Minimal, but look at how that color develops!
Drip Resistance – Minimal
Flow – Dry

Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogun

I will refrain from making a Game of Thrones reference here. Suffice to say that Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu Syogun is also known as Winter General, and is an astonishing ink that has truly won my heart. It is in fact one of my daily use inks.

There is something truly special about this ever so subtly cloudy grey with a slight hint of coldness. Yet, Iroshizuku Fuyu Syogun shades beautifully and when dry it actually looks remarkably like graphite pencils…in watercolor. Something else that is truly amazing about this ink is that it’s nearly waterproof. In fact it is so water resistant it matches the iron gall inks of Rohrer & Klingner. Astonishing.

Now, as a grey, Iroshizuku Fuyu Syogun is simply my favorite, no exceptions. Sure, grey usually does not enter the repertoire of work inks, but in this case I think one would do well to seriously consider the ink and I think it would definitely live happily in one’s regular ink rotation.

Shading – Great
Bleedthrough – None
Feathering – None
Sheen – None
Smear Resistance – Immune to smears
Drip Resistance – High
Flow – Wet-Normal

Pilot Iroshizuku Kiri Same

Pilot Iroshizuku Kiri Same is apparently an autumn shower, which I suppose would be an apt metaphor for the grey clouds that gather heavy with rain. I regard Iroshizuku Kiri Same as a more neutral version of Iroshizuku Fuyu Syogun. For that reason, it would suit those who prefer a darker grey that’s neutral (or perhaps ever so very slightly purple) rather than coldish.

Like Iroshizuku Fuyu Syogun, Kiri Same is highly water resistant and shades really nicely even in casual writing. This is the kind of reliable grey for people who would rather worry less about their work encountering water, while maintaining the kind of character that only a shading ink can provide.

Overall, I regard Iroshizuku Kiri Same as a somewhat more mainstream version of Fuyu Syogun, and this is both its strength and weakness: It does not quite stand out as a grey ink, and that may well make it friendlier in a situation where the ink is intended to draw less attention to itself.

Shading – High
Bleedthrough – None
Feathering – None
Sheen – None
Smear Resistance – High
Drip Resistance – Moderate
Flow – Normal

 

Pilot Iroshizuku Take Sumi

Pilot Iroshizuku Take Sumi is essentially the bamboo charcoal ink that is featured in traditional Japanese paintings. Iroshizuku Take Sumi is in fact one of the blackest blacks I’ve encountered, and that is a very strong attribute in a black ink. I always believe that a black ink exists in one form: True black. Anything lesser and it fails to qualify as a black, and should be called something else. This one happens to be both neutral and true black, which means it should be on the radar of black lovers the world over.

As a reasonably wet ink that is not particularly waterproof, Iroshizuku Take Sumi is in fact a great candidate for applications in painting. In fact, it is rather reminiscent of Japanese/Chinese black paints when diluted. Yet, after a soaking, the original lines are actually still surprisingly visible, allowing for a shading halo that preserves the original form of the painting. Beautiful!

Iroshizuku Take Sumi definitely qualifies as a possible everyday ink, and can do double duty as a painter’s tool. This is quite a versatile offering in the fountain pen world, and I would recommend this to anyone who loves a true black, and artists would definitely not regret this acquisition.

Shading – None. This is awesome.
Bleedthrough – None.
Feathering – None.
Sheen – None. I expect this of a black.
Smear Resistance – Limited.
Drip Resistance – Low, but a core of black remains.
Flow – Wet.

 

And this concludes the final 4th part of the Pilot Iroshizuku ink feature. I hope this has proved useful in informing your future purchases, or perhaps to encourage a revisit of your inevitable collection of mini Iroshizuku bottles.

All previous ink tests are archived below:

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

Missed the previous Pilot Iroshizuku ink features? View them here:

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

Part 2 – Getting Down To Earth – Chiku Rin, Ina Ho, Shin Ryoku, Syo Ro, Tsukushi, Yama Guri

Part 3 – In The Pink, And Purple Besides – 
Fuyu Gaki, Kosumosu, Momiji, Murasaki Shikibu, Tsutsuji, Yama Budo

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