Izumi Rose

Hello! I’m back with my crappy photography skills~ it’s been over a month since my last post and yes, I’m still obsessed with the 36 singing men even though the show finished at the beginning of January 😭

Honestly though, I have been busy besides being obsessed 😬

Late last year I went on Taobao and bought some Chinese exclusive inks at extortionate prices, but the labels were very pretty and there were virtually no swatches anywhere, so I had to buy them to see for myself…I initially only bought three colours but then went and got the remaining two colours after a few days, because well, that was the right thing to do!

Here’s one of them:

Frankly, it isn’t the most exciting ink, but it’s a good choice if like me, you’re a bit bored of crazy sheeners in similar colours aka Kobe 41, Nagoya Sankodo’s Tokugawaen Botan, or Iroshizuku Yama budo. This is considerably bluer and definitely less “in your face”.

This one is for fans of Tomoe River paper, or those who have trouble getting their hands on the other papers I do comparison swatches on, because in my eyes it absolutely looks the best on TR:





Let me know what you think or if there are things you would like a closer look at πŸ™‚ I’m slowly going through things I haven’t swatched 😬

Christmas Rose

A new one from Pelle Penna I received a couple of days ago, just in time for Christmas!

I’ve not had time to work on the blog lately because I’ve um…been rather very obsessed with a singing show involving 36 super talented and good looking men (some are half my age) (I KNOW!) who can er, sing very well, and look very good (but like to post ugly selfies). It’s a very funny show, I’ve only watched every 2hr long episode in its entirety about 10 times each, plus all the cuts and extra bits and individual performances I put on whenever I’m not watching an episode. My family, my cats, my friends and all my work colleagues know about it and have very kindly refrained from talking to me for a few weeks now because I need to listen to these men sing.

Anyway the new episode comes out tomorrow and one of my favourite men (I have many) supposedly sings Confrontation from the Jekyll & Hyde musical and kills off all competition so I thought I should get something written before that happens or it’ll never happen.

So here it is, a Tokiwa matsu lookalike that behaves rather interestingly on Midori MD paper (Top right in picture below). Now I need to try Tokiwa Matsu on Midori to see if it looks like that as well πŸ€”

Close-ups on Tomoe River, Midori, Graphilo and Paperholic:

If you have any questions about the ink please let me know. My mind is elsewhere right now and I probably should’ve waited till I’m not crazy but I don’t know when that will be 😬

Oh and Merry Christmas!!

Kasumigaura blue

It’s been a while since my last post…I know it probably hasn’t been that long, but it seems like forever for me because I’ve been really busy with mundane everyday stuff so haven’t had time to play with inks or anything else πŸ™ˆ

Here is a quick one, an old Joyful-2 release that’s no longer available 😬

As usual, they’re on 52g Tomoe River, Midori MD, Graphilo and Paperholic (clockwise from top left).

Close-up of each:

It’s not that special so don’t feel too sad that this is discontinued πŸ˜… the bottle is completely unlabelled and the sticker on the outside of the box is just a homemade DIY printer job, probably from a bubble jet but I won’t try to verify that~

Red Cliff

It seems I’m a bit of a slave driver when it comes to getting my hands on inks. A friend of mine who isn’t at all into fountain pens/inks went to Japan for the first time at the end of 2017. I found out the cities he was going to be visiting and promptly gave him a shopping list, not really expecting him to come back with anything…

Well he went to just about every store I wrote down and came back with some nice stuff, because he “was sick and had nothing better to do” 😬

Amongst these stores were Sankodo and Pen Land Cafe in Nagoya, where at Sankodo he really loved their friendly service and at Pen Land Cafe it sounded like he possibly stumbled upon an ink studio event. He said there was a man with a shaker and a small crowd ooh-ing and ahh-ing, he felt like he was intruding so quietly left without buying anything 🀦

So because he went all the way to Pen Land Cafe and didn’t get anything, I had to source this one from someone else at a later date 🀣

Clockwise from top left: 52g Tomoe River, Midori, Graphilo, Paperholic

What paper do you prefer this one on?


Looking for a blue black? How about one that is buttery smooth and has a coppery sheen?

Allow me to bring to your attention this Pen Gallery Hougado offering!

As usual, swatches are clockwise from top left: 52g Tomoe River, Midori, Graphilo, Paperholic

Close ups:

You’ll be relieved to know that I don’t have a story about this crazy sheener, I was just shopping for Uranari Green from the same store and knew I needed this one (amongst others), clicked buy and emptied my wallet 😬

I recommend a dry writer to go with this ink if you want to bring out the blue, otherwise you’d be writing with all sheen over a rather dark base.


I love Japan, I like to think of it as my second/spiritual home, but Japan in August is not for people who prefer cool dry weather (me), so it was just as well that some brave soul πŸƒ volunteered to embark on a sacred journey this time around.

In two of my previous posts I talked about how I sometimes mule things back for fellow FP friends. Earlier in the year I had an opportunity to beta test a new game called “Train a new mule” where I played a stay-at-home keyboard shopper remote controlling a πŸƒ in real time, all from the comfort of my own home 😎

Of course to prepare him for this harsh journey I armed him with a list of things to procure so he would always have a sense of purpose and not be defeated by the physical shock he was about to experience.

As most people who have played any sort of RPG would know, sometimes it takes multiple attempts and a bit of back and forth to fully complete a quest.

One of the side quests sent πŸƒ to this remote place just outside the Tokyo metro area, where he could grind to level two by completing two tasks – pick up a Pen and some inks from Pen Point and some inks from Keio Atman at Seisekisakuragaoka.

It wasn’t as straight forward as it sounds, as you can see, he failed to pick up all the hidden treasure before having to set up camp temporarily to restore his HP.

I reminded πŸƒ that he was only 5 exp from leveling up, so back he went, battling more heat and humidity, and grabbed the last hidden chest:

Sadly though, the equipment contained in the chest didn’t provide πŸƒ with any sort of stat boosts, it was just a tanuki relic that he had already picked up one copy of, that took up one slot in his bag, didn’t stack, and couldn’t be discarded. I have no idea why it was in the game 🀷 I suspect it’s a booby prize for the completionists:

I have to say, there is some tweaking to be done to “Train a new mule”, the controls were at times laggy or unresponsive, the map not the easiest to navigate, and there was a bit too much backtracking, but overall it was quite enjoyable and I’m looking forward to the official release!

*Please don’t show any Sailor representatives this post, especially not the bit before the swatches, we do love Sailor βš“


Take two.

Late last night I accidentally published this page with just pictures, then fell asleep 🀦 I’m sure a lot of people wouldn’t have minded anyway but I panicked and unpublished it so I could add my usual drivel in πŸ˜…

Happiness is my second ever Bungubox ink, and the first I picked up from the Tokyo shop myself. Normally I have a very hard time making big decisions: what to have for breakfast/lunch/dinner, but when it comes to inks, if it’s green and made by Sailor, I have to have it.

Since I already had Tsuyuhikari, the next most obvious choice for me was Happiness, because who wouldn’t like a brightly coloured green ink with a squinty looking animal on its label? It also piqued my interest because I recognised it as something that didn’t get nearly as much attention as some of its more famous siblings like First Love (Hatsukoi/Sapphire), L’Amant, 4B, etc etc. Look what a beauty this turned out to be!

Clockwise from top left, 52g Tomoe River, Midori, Graphilo, Paperholic

I’ve tried to find a dupe for this without much success. This isn’t the usual yellow leaning green that I mostly favour, but it hasn’t got quite enough blue in it (though it’s obviously there) to make it a blue green. It’s even got a bit of sheen to it if your pen is wet enough!