Pen & Message is a stationary store based in Kobe, Japan.  They sell some highly sought after inks.  Due to the worldwide popularity of Pen Pen & Message inks, you cannot purchase them directly.  So if you cannot buy them in person at their store you would have to use a forwarding service such as White Rabbit Express, which is how I got them.  In pursuit of my bottle of Pen & Message Cigar in the Spring of 2017 I decided to get the other 7 colours in the P&M set, 4 inks from Ishida Bungu, as well as two from Shosaikan.  My thinking being if I spread the cost of shipping over more bottles of ink I’ll actually be saving money(!).  With hindsight I think it would have made more sense to buy a number of bottles at each store, and not mix multiple stores up in the same order.  That way you can also spread your ink purchases out throughout the year.

Here is my order all jumbled together and spread over two pictures.  A normal person would have taken groups shots of Pen & Message, Ishida Bungu and Shosaikan separately.  Not me…



…and the rest.

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Please be aware Pen & Message are currently limiting ink purchases to 1 colour/person.  I bought 1 each of the 8 piece set as follows;

  1. Cigar (Brown)
  2. Old Burgundy (Burgundy)
  3. Quadrifoglio (Green)
  4. Vintage Denim (Blue)
  5. Saku (Blue)
  6. Sanyasou (purple)
  7. Suyuurushi (red urushi)
  8. Fuyugare (grey)

The ink I will be reviewing today (I’ll be honest it’s mainly just pictures…) is Sanyasou.  Here is the bottle…


Here is the box…


Here is the cap…


Sanyasou is a purple/ violet ink in a similar vein to Pilot Iroshizuku’s Murusaki Shikubu or Japanese Beautyberry.  I believe its botanical name is Callicarpa japonica and looks a bit like this…


or this…


Purple isn’t one of my favourite colours, but this ink tends more to the blue/indigo range so I actually like it very much.  I think it is a nice saturated alternative to boring blue ( I have waaaay to many blue inks, mainly because so many of them sheen).  Speaking of which, this ink sheens- a LOT.  I was surprised by this as I have not heard of a purple ink that sheens other than Lamy Dark Violet, which unfortunately sold out before I could buy it, and Cross Violet.

Sanyasou has a wicked gold sheen that can look more coppery depending on how much ink you have pooled on up on the page.  Here are a few close ups of the ink on Hobonichi TR paper.  As you can see the sheen is VERY pronounced.  It’s a sheen thats comes very easily, which is awesome 🙂


A close up of the ink swabs…


Here is a writing sample on Hobonichi TR paper…


A view of the Omas Princess Blue Royale I used to write it with.  Although this is a truly crappy iPhone pic of it, it is a perfect match for this inks.  The Blue Royale celluloid is known for oxidising to a purple-indigo colour.  I think this pen was made for this ink.  It also happens to have the wickedest stubby “Medium” nib, which is really more like a juicy Broad.  Here it is…


Rhodia sheening ink blob…


Here is a comparison with Iroshizuku Murusaki-Shikubu and Kingdom Note jellyfish series Thysonastoma Thysanura (actually not at all similar), on original Crown Mill silver line card…I have almost all the Kobe Nagasawa inks in sample form, I will try and do some samples of a few similar colours such as Sannomiya Panse and post them up later…


*Incidentally, I’m still not entirely sure which type of paper is best for bringing out the sheen.  Both the highly absorbent, thick laid paper of Original Crown Mill AND the super thin, shiny, non-absorbent Hobonichi paper both seem to bring out sheen.  I’ve seen people on the forums post up very thick absorbent card stock for their samples and manage to draw out the craziest sheen.  I find Rhodia is very hit and miss sheen-wise, but brings out the “true” colour of the ink, if that makes sense…

Some “facts”…

Saturation: High

Flow: 8/10

Behaviour:  Very well behaved

Waterproof:  Not at all

Shading: Some but not loads

Dry time:  Moderate for such a wet ink

Sheen:  Gold sheen in spades

Sanyasou is definitely a purple ink for people who don’t really like purple.  I much prefer it to Murusaki-shikubu, which is the kind of purple I don’t like.  I think it comes down to the saturation and the way Sanyasou leans more to indigo that makes the difference.  It has a lovely velvety texture and seems to be very well behaved.  It feels like a high quality Sailor ink.  I like this ink a lot.  Highly recommended.