review: takeda jimuki TAG kyo-iro gion no ishidatami (京彩祇園の石畳) - ink between the teeth

Nov 27, 2017

review: takeda jimuki TAG kyo-iro gion no ishidatami (京彩祇園の石畳)

Here's the last of my Toronto ink samples! Thanks for waiting, if you've been holding out on these ones. Let's go ahead and get started.

Kyo-iro and Kyo-no Oto are two lines of ink from the stationery store chain TAG, owned and operated by Takeda Jimuki. Bruno Taut over at Crónicas Estilográficas wrote about these inks recently, and they're fairly new to the North American market. I picked up a sample at Wonder Pens when I was in Toronto.

Before I completely forget, I want to drop a note that Wonder Pens packages their ink samples in these adorable little vials with orange, screw-top lids. You get the "normal" sample size, which is 2ml (enough for, approximately, one piston fill or two standard-sized converters). I do have to say that these vials are quite a bit narrower than I expected; the mouth is positively tiny. It's really difficult to get the nib in, let alone the grip section of a pen. I tend to fill from these vials by pulling the converter out of my pen and dipping it directly into the ink, then carrying on from there.

I thought this was a super interesting color at first glance, if only because I'm quite into these gray-browns nowadays. Maybe it's the muted, wet autumns we have out here in Northern California; it matches the mood, I think. Don't get me wrong, our leaves do change color, but it's mostly meaningless when said leaves are turning into a rain soup on the pavement.
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Gion looks much more warm in this scan than in reality. It's far more like a neutral olive color rather than this golden-brown tone. I apologize for the inaccuracy!

This ink took quite a bit to dry on my Midori MD notebook, but I've found that in day-to-day use it doesn't take nearly this long! It is not waterproof at all, readily dissipating with exposure to water. There is no sheen and only a very light amount of shading.

In my Pilot 78G, which has an average-slightly wet flow and the broad/italic nib, Gion performs great. I tend to prefer inks that run a bit wet rather than a bit dry (my logic being that I already write with so many broad nibs, and if I have to wait a couple seconds longer for the ink to dry then it's not that big of a deal). I have no issues writing a couple continuous pages with it in my journal, and I haven't experienced any hard starts.

Gion looks nothing like Pilot Iroshizuku Ina-ho in these swatches, but in use, they do have a tiny bit of similarity (I'm not sure why Ina-ho looks so golden here. My scans, maybe, or perhaps the wetness of my swabs?). Gion is more beige, and it looks like someone watered Ina-ho down a little because it's not quite as saturated. They're definitely not the same, although the similarity is there; you'll do just fine if you own both inks. I compared it here to J. Herbin Vert Empire, a grayish green, and there's absolutely no similarity.

Like I said in my review on Cherry Blossom of Keage, these inks are pretty but definitely out of my budget. If I was in a TAG I might splurge (although I see that these inks are pricier than Pilot Iroshizuku too, which means they are firmly outside of my budget, USD or JPY). It's a shame, because the backstory of these inks is interesting, but you know, I have to pay bills and such.

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