wINKsday #2 – Pilot Iroshizuku ku-jaku

Hello, everyone! Hope everyone’s enjoying their Spring Break/Stimulus Day/Ordinary Workday. Today is the official start of my wINKsday series. I thought I’d start with the very first ink I purchased – the Pilot Iroshizuku ku-jaku. Kujaku means peacock in Japanese. It’s also apparently <furious typing> a type of koi fish and a character in Naruto.

I’m not familiar with the show* so whatever.

Anyway, my wife has a peacock feather tattoo on her right forearm (a stellar job by Jose at Electric Chair Tattoo) and as someone who can be as extra as peacocks (there are times when I’ve referred to myself as the human personification of the last four minuts of the 1812 Overture) I thought that a bird-themed ink would be great.

Pictured: The blogger

Also, I’ve mentioned that I like blue inks and this is right on the edge for that.

Pilot makes great pens and UNSURPRISINGLY they make great inks as well. Their Iroshizuku line of inks is a little on the pricier end ($18-$22 a bottle compared to brands like Noodler’s, Monteverde, or Diamine where it’s $8-$15 as the average) but that’s not bad at all for 50 ml and for a really nice bottle.

Which, again, you’re buying ink for the writing part but my argument is — if it’s going to look nice it might as well look all the way nice. Noodler’s is one of my favorite inks but the box is a plain jane white box, for instance.

So ON TO THE TESTs. As a reminder, I test using my glass dip pen. Water test is a drop of water from an eyedropper and then brushed with a #3 paintbrush. Reason I do this is to simulate your standard ‘oops I’ve spilled something’ and because some of you might be interested in doing watercolors with the inks I pick

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Top to bottom: Clairefontaine Triomphe-MISLABELED, Copy paper, Tomoe River, and Office Depot notebook paper
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As we saw with the Writer’s Tears test last week, your standard copy paper performs the worst when it comes to ghosting.
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Clairefontaine Triomphe – water test seems to get rid of a lot of the ink
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The printer paper doesn’t fare too badly from the front, but that big splotch just looks awful on the reverse side of the paper.
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Tomoe River does the best as usual, and it’s one of those weird things where it probably feels the flimsiest out of all the paper I use but it’s a great paper for fountain pens. From the waterdrop test, it also maintains the best legibility after it’s been wet.
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Tomoe River paper also best shows the secondary colors of the ku-jaku, the little tiny hints of red.
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Finally, we come to the notebook paper. Water performs okay, ghosting is minimal, dries relatively quick.

This is the notebook I’ve been using for these tests. I also realize I forgot to include my Rhodia and Leuchturm tests but they’re somewhere below the Tomoe River and Clarefontaine papers and above the others in terms of performance. I’ll be sure to include those tests next week!

Hope this was useful!

*I moved to the US before Inuyasha and Naruto became a thing and so I didn’t get back into anime until years after I moved to Houston.

Published by obsidianpalms

Hugo Esteban Rodríguez Castañeda is a writer and educator hailing from Mexico and the Rio Grande Valley. He is the author of “…And Other Stories” (2018, La Casita Grande Editores) as well as other short stories, poems, and essays that have appeared in places like The Airgonaut, The Acentos Review, Picaroon Poetry, Neon Mariposa, Mathematician Transmission and the Texas Poetry Calendar. He is a graduate from the University of Texas at El Paso's MFA program and hus fiction has been recommended as part of Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net slates and was longlisted for the Wigleaf Top 50. He is currently a reader for RUBY Lit and occasionally freelances as a content editor for a publishing company. A fountain pen enthusiast, he lives in Northwest Houston and is most at home at coffeehouses, shopping malls, and mosh pits.

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