Rikyu-cha – Sailor

In 1911, Mr. Kyugoro Sakata, an engineer from Hiroshima in Japan, was introduced to the fountain pen. Mr. Sakata was so intrigued by the design and function of the pen he decided to begin a company to craft the finest writing instruments in the world. In honor of his British friend, he chose to name the company Sailor Pen.

The Sailor Pen Company has maintained this heritage of quality and technical perfection over the years. Apart from offering very well made pens, the company has employed an ink master – pure genius who’s managed to create greates fountain pen inks ever (it’s my opinion not validated by research but shared by many of us). I would guess that during the years Sailor created approximately 600-800 inks (most of them under other names).

One of internatioonally available line of Sailor inks is Sailor Jentle line. At the moment we have two of them. The new one reintroduces colors that were missed by hundreds of geeks. I’vwe bought full line of new Jentle inks and I’ll review them all in following weeks. The inks are:

  1. Chu-shu
  2. Fuji-musume
  3. Irori
  4. Kin-mokusei
  5. Rikyu-cha
  6. Sakura-mori
  7. Waka-uguisu
  8. Yuki-akari

I’ll start with the ink I’ve been hunting – unsuccessfully –  for few years. Ladies and Gentleman.


There was a time Rikyu-cha could be considered Sailor’s Racing Gren. They’re not close in colors, but they used to stir up similar emotions in people who would love to get them but couldn’t because they were no longer offered. I was one of such helpless people. There was a risk once I finally get the ink, I’ll be disappointed. My expectations were this high. After trying it I’ll you that rikyu-cha is one of greatest ink creations of all time.

Just look at this bottle and it’s content.

The color is incredibly complex – just look at chromatography. Rikyu – cha is one of traditional japanese colors, in simple world of HEX codes it has this hue:

In reality this color has a lot of faces but one thing is sure – it’s lubricated in most satisfying way. It writes incredibly smooth. It’s water resistant (the color will be partially washed out but you’ll be able to read the text). I haven’t experienced any feathering or bleedthrough. Basically I must confess that I installed a little altar in the house and made other inks bow before rikyu-cha.

As you see I’m not objective and won’t even try to be. On the other hand I’ve tried more than 600 inks. I’m rarely THAT impressed. It says something about the ink quality/complexity/fun factor.

Drops of ink on kitchen towel


Color ID

Color range

Tomoe River, Kaweco AL Sport, broad nib

Leuchtturm1917, Kaweco AL Sport, broad nib

Kokuyo Campus Myo, TWSBI 580, stub 1,1

No-name notebook, TWSBI 580, stub 1,1

Rhodia, Lamy Al-Star, broad nib

Water resistance


6 thoughts on “Rikyu-cha – Sailor

  1. I’m going to be brutally honest: I get why so many people love it, but didn’t love it, in person. Maybe it was because I expected it to be stunning and a clear “must have,” because of all the people online, like yourself who love it so. 🙂 To me, honestly, it was okay; it was fine. A lot of people I let use it to strongly disliked the color, but I wouldn’t go that far. It’s an odd color, but I normally like odd colors.

    I guess it just didn’t excite me in any way apart from the sheen, and sheen isn’t something I rank highly. And, really, I can’t get past an ink that feathers as much as Rikyu-Cha. Because it feathers terribly for me on regular paper.

    And as always, horses for courses. If you love sheen, and love to write letters on fountain-pen friendly paper and use very broad and wet nibs, then this ink will probably be a big winner, because it has some impressive qualities used that way. But if you are more a person who writes with narrower nibs and uses fountain pens often in work-oriented writing on everyday paper, it’s not necessarily the same experience.

    I hope it’s okay to say this here. 🙂 I’m not disagreeing — I do understand why some people like it — and I hope you don’t mind a different perspective about an ink you clearly love. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Laura – it’s perfect place to say it 🙂 Above all I like honesty, When I dislike an ink I ALWAYS say it strongly. Truth be told I haven’t used Rikyu-cha on copy paper. I write in the office but I’m spoiled and use mainly Oxford Optic paper.

    Liked by 1 person

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