Review: Kyo No Oto Kokeiro


I was trying my best to save this review for last, like the fountain pen ink version of the marshmallow test, but my EQ is low haha. I’ve always had a soft spot for olive green inks, especially those that have a lot of the yellow component in them. This is why the Kokeiro ink from the Kyo No Oto line is so attractive to me.

Kyo No Oto Kokeiro

The color reminds me of a cross between Alt Goldgrun and Diamine Wagner. It’s the color of shelled pistachio nuts. It’s light yellow-green in some places, darker green in some, with a little bit of that gorgeous golden tinge that gives it a nice glowing quality. The color is really eye-catching, especially on ivory-colored paper. The flow is quite wet. I used it in my Sheaffer Lifetime with a fine nib, and it flowed really well. It dries moderately fast at about 20 seconds on tomoe river paper. It’s saturated enough to make it easy to read, it’s a good enough ink to use for daily writing. It’s well-behaved and has very expressive shading. The shading is quite obvious even with a fine nib. It’s not water resistant, though it does leave behind faint light green lines. If you like olive green inks, this is such a nice color to have. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample.

Kyo No Oto Kokeiro

Kyo No Oto Kokeiro

Kyo No Oto Kokeiro

Kyo No Oto Kokeiro

Kyo No Oto Kokeiro

Kyo No Oto Kokeiro

Kyo No Oto Kokeiro

Kyoto inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.

Here’s a roundup of all the Kyoto Inks I have reviewed:

Review: Kyo-Iro Flaming Red of Fushimi


Kyo-Iro Flaming Red of Fushimi

Here’s the last of the Kyo-Iro line of Kyoto Inks that I’ve tried. The next inks linked up for review are all Kyo No Oto inks. This one’s called Flaming Red of Fushimi. At first I was surprised because it was neither flaming nor red when wet. The ink’s color got darker as it dried, and under natural light, the red component is much more obvious. It does start out as a cross between pink and peach, like the color of pink guava flesh or four seasons juice. Pink that leans more on the red side. When in a low-light surrounding, the ink looks less-saturated and more pink, but in natural light, it does become a more pronounced shade of red. The color is pretty interesting in both cases. I don’t think I have tried an ink that is similar in hue. It’s eye-catching, to say the least. It’s a moderately saturated ink, so I would recommend that you use it with a medium nib at least, or something that writes wet, so that you can appreciate the character of the ink. The shading is expressive and gorgeous, with shades of peach and dark pink. It flows a bit drier than moderate, though not unpleasantly so. I just feel it’s not as wet as the other Kyo-Iro inks I tried. The drying time is more or less the same, about 15 seconds. It’s not water resistant. Here are a few close up shots of the writing sample.

Kyo-Iro Flaming Red of Fushimi

Kyo-Iro Flaming Red of Fushimi

Kyo-Iro Flaming Red of Fushimi

Kyo-Iro Flaming Red of Fushimi

Kyo-Iro Flaming Red of Fushimi

Kyo-Iro Flaming Red of Fushimi

Kyoto inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.

Here’s a roundup of all the Kyoto Inks I have reviewed:

Review: Kyo-Iro Moonlight of Higashiyama


Kyo-Iro Inks

The nice people from Everything Calligraphy sent over a few samples of their new line of inks from Kyoto, Japan. There are Kyo-Iro and Kyo No Oto Inks. I’m eager to review them because all the Japanese inks I’ve tried so far have been excellent. I’m curious to see how these inks perform. Kyo-Iro inks are named after famous places in Kyoto Japan. It may be a bit hard to distinguish the colors on the bottle because for Kyo-Iro inks, the names are printed in Japanese characters. I’ll dive right in and review one of the colors that really got my attention. This one’s called Moonlight of Higashiyama.

Kyo-Iro Inks

I like that the packaging of Kyo-Iro inks are so reminiscent of what makes Japanese aesthetics so pleasing. It’s minimalist, simple, elegant, and functional. I love the print on the box and the labels on the bottle. Each bottle holds 40ml of ink, and the opening is convenient to use, no matter what the pen size is.

Kyo-Iro Inks - Moonlight of Higashiyama

Moonlight of Higashiyama is an earthy brown color that leans more towards orange or terracotta. When wet, the yellow component of the ink is more obvious, but it gets a lot darker as it dries. The color reminds me of autumn leaves, or caramel. It’s warm and pleasant, and really gorgeous especially on cream-colored paper. I like that it has subtle shading that shows different hues from light terracotta orange to dark brown, the color of burnt brown sugar. It’s saturated enough for daily writing, it’s very comfortable to read. The flow of this ink is also quite good. It’s a touch above moderate flow, and my pen just glides on paper when using it. The drying time is relatively fast at about 15 seconds using a medium nib on Tomoe River paper. It’s not water resistant. So don’t leave your journal out in the rain ;-). Here are a few close ups of the writing sample.

Kyo-Iro Inks - Moonlight of Higashiyama

Kyo-Iro Inks - Moonlight of Higashiyama

Kyo-Iro Inks - Moonlight of Higashiyama

Kyo-Iro Inks - Moonlight of Higashiyama

Kyo-Iro Inks - Moonlight of Higashiyama

Kyo-Iro Inks - Moonlight of Higashiyama

Overall, it’s an eye-catching color. I enjoy using it in journal entries. Kyo-Iro inks and I are off to a great start, it seems. 🙂

Kyoto inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.

Here’s a roundup of all the Kyoto Inks I have reviewed:

Review: Birmingham Inks Smithfield St. Bridge – Truss Blue


Here’s another blue Birmingham Ink that I’ve been using for the past few days. It’s Smithfield St. Bridge (Truss Blue). This is another dark blue ink, which looks conservative and behaves pretty well.

Birmingham Inks - Smithfield St. Bridge - Truss Blue

It’s a bit dark when wet, reminds me of the color of Tsuki-yo, but it seems to get a bit lighter as it dries. I used a Waterman Gentleman with a fine nib for this writing sample. It’s a wet, European fine nib, though. I’m very much pleased that the ink flowed so well, even in a fine nib. The drying time is a little over 5 seconds, and the flow is moderate to wet. I like that it’s a very well-behaved ink, it doesn’t feather a lot and it doesn’t clog up even if I don’t use the pen for a few days. Even with a fine nib, I love that it still shows beautiful shading.

The color is dark blue, and it’s not a crazy blue with sheen or anything like that. It’s a straight up blue that’s nicely saturated and conservative-looking enough for you to use even at work. You probably can’t use sheen-y, shimmer-y inks for official documents, but this kind of blue can be a staple for everyday writing.

It’s not water-resistant, though it leaves behind a faint but noticeable purple line. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample:

Birmingham Inks - Smithfield St. Bridge - Truss Blue

Birmingham Inks - Smithfield St. Bridge - Truss Blue

Birmingham Inks - Smithfield St. Bridge - Truss Blue

Birmingham Inks - Smithfield St. Bridge - Truss Blue

Birmingham Inks - Smithfield St. Bridge - Truss Blue

Birmingham Inks - Smithfield St. Bridge - Truss Blue

Birmingham Inks - Smithfield St. Bridge - Truss Blue

Birmingham inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.