Fukagawa-nezu – Pilot Iroshizuku Tokyo LE ink

In December 2007 Pilot’s created exclusive line of inks called Iroshizuku. I believe they may well be the most well known fountain pen inks in pen world. These inks are supposed to work in any pen with any nib on any paper and in any situation. I haven’t tried all of them but so far the Iroshizuku inks I’ve tried were behaving flawlessly.

The colors were created by Kiyomi Hasegawa who after fifteen years of working in a stationary shop and communicating with Clients come to conclusion that not all fountain pen users are willing to write in black and blue. Wise woman.

The bottles are stunning although they have their issues: if the ink is left unused for some time the cap tends to stick and break when you try to twist it open. It happened to my bottle of Shin-Ryoku.

Anyway Iroshizuku line of inks counts 24 “standard” colors. Three inks were made some time ago for Tokyo stores: Edo-Murasaki, Fukagawa-Nezu and Shimbashi-Iro. Recently they were reissued to the japanese market. Thanks to Tinnjapan’s help I was able to get a threepack of 15 ml bottles. I’ve played with the inks for few days (since monday) and I will share my reflexions with you.

The inks can be bought in 50 ml glass bottles and in 15 ml bottles. Threepack comes in a plastic box.



Tonight we’ll take a look at

Fukagawa – nezu

It seems it’s one of traditional japan colors. It has it’s hex codes and all.

There was a time when I didnt get it why someone would want to use grey ink. It changed. I started to enjoy grey inks. I had high hopes for Fukagawa-nezu but my expectations were too high. It’s decent ink but it has some drawbacks (apart from limited availability). 

First the positives: it’s water resistant, the color is quite nice but it’s entirely subjective, no feathering or bleedthrough.

Drawbacks? I’ve experienced hars starts and skipping after leaving the pen uncapped for 10-15 seconds. I find it irritating. The flow is average. Saturation is medium. The color is not as complex as I expected it to be. My main criticism though is ink drying on the nib – it’s something I strongly dislike in inks. Also it’s first Iroshizuku ink that behaves this way. Maybe it’s side effect of increased water resistance? I dunno. I know nothing about inks chemistry.


Drops of ink on kitchen towel

Software ID

Color range

Tomoe River, Kaweco Classic Sport, eyedropper mode, broad nib

Leuchtturm1917, Kaweco Classic Sport, eyedropper mode, broad nib

Kokuyo Campus Myo, Kaweco Classic Sport, eyedropper mode, broad nib

(the quote is from Josiah Bancroft’s Books of Babel – Senlin Ascends and Arm of the Sphinx – if you like litterary prose, wild imagination, grotesque and fantasy tropes you need to try them. They’re excellent)

No-name calendar (crappy paper), Diplomat Depeche, broad nib

Water resistance


3 thoughts on “Fukagawa-nezu – Pilot Iroshizuku Tokyo LE ink

  1. Thank you for your review. The Iroshizuku story is also very interesting ! Kiyomi Hasegawa is a great woman and contributed to develop these inks
    across the world 😉 Among japanese brands, Pilot is definitly the most known, working for this since several years.
    I have an Iroshizuku bottle 50 ml, the cap sticks too to the glass bottle.

    At first sight, I thought “Fukagawa nezu” was “Fuyu syogun”. I hesited (one more time) for this last and choosed “Kiri same”. I don’t regret, found a warm grey. I enjoy the shading with the Soft Fine medium Pilot Heritage 91. Even if I am looking for another grey more intense within being too dark for a less width nib, This grey stays my favorite.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s