review: sailor jentle yama-dori - ink between the teeth

Jan 29, 2018

review: sailor jentle yama-dori

Here's the third of the three Sailor Jentle inks I own. Like I said last week, I want to make sure these reviews come out in a timely fashion. I'll talk a little more about how Sailor is changing their ink line later this year.

I also want to make note quite early that I'm fiddling with adding one (technically, two) to my reviews: natural light photos of "swatch cards." I'll explain further in this post, so do continue reading!
Like I said in my previous review, Sailor Jentle inks come in this flat, circular bottle with a conical insert. The insert, which is removable, makes it easier for you to fill your pens. I've found that, when you shake this ink, large bubbles form and are rather difficult to get rid of; I would suggest shaking the ink to mix it all up and setting it aside for five minutes or so before filling your pen, otherwise you'll have to deal with quite a few air bubbles. Also, the foam insert inside the cap tends to stick to the rim of the bottle. In my small sample size of two inks, I think this may be a consequence of how sheeny the ink is. I'll have to see if I have this same issue in my bottle of Rikyu-cha in the future.

Edited to add, but I completely forgot to add that Sailor Jentle inks have a smell. I don't quite know how to describe it. It's slightly, sweet? It's not an unpleasant smell to me, and it's not strong unless you stick your nose in the bottle or something, but it's definitely there.

Yama-dori translates to "copper pheasant." I looked up pictures of copper pheasants, and I believe males of this species can have dark teal feathers. However, I've always thought of this ink as one that evokes peacocks. It is a teal/turquoise color, more blue than green.
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I promise I'm gonna keep fiddling with these scans. I feel like I'm making headway with certain colors and tones and not others. or that I finally get a scan that seems accurate and the next scan is way off. It's super frustrating, and I hope that I'll eventually get a semblance of color accuracy in the future.

Like Tokiwa-matsu, Yama-dori has a beautiful red sheen. It's even visible in fine nibs! Of course, it's pretty hard to see it in the scan, so here's a picture of it in natural light:
Yama-dori isn't waterproof at all, and it also takes quite a while to dry. It does have some shading, despite its saturation.

I've compared it to as many of the turquoise/teals I have in my collection as I could. I think Yama-dori has no similarities to the inks that I have—but it seems that the scanner I used has a particular difficulty with blue-greens. Thus, the previously mentioned feature: swatch cards!
They're no Col-O-Ring, but they do the job (at least, until I get tired of them and move on to Swatch Card V3.0). This picture was taken in natural light at about 3pm. Yama-dori is closest to Rohrer & Klingner Verdigris, but it is a shade darker and more blue. The rest of the colors don't even come close.

I have this ink in my Lamy Petrol with a medium nib, and I love the combination. It's a sheener for sure, with a healthy amount of shading. It has a nice wet flow, which is partially due to my Lamy being a fairly wet writer. However, It's a nice combination for sure.

Like I said in my review for Tokiwa-matsu, I'm not sure if I would buy another bottle of Yama-dori simply because I have so many dang inks. I deeply considered purchasing a second bottle during my trip to Taipei, where Japanese inks are much cheaper than in the U.S., but I decided not to. Yama-dori is one of my favorite colors though, so we'll see if I suffer from a heavy bout of FOMO (fear of missing out) and ask my family members to bring me back a bottle.

If you feel particularly inclined, do let me know if you feel a certain way about the swatch cards. I think they're a relatively simple way for me to bridge the gap between color accuracy and useful comparison. I can't say they'll be perfect. They're very good at showing the "true" color of the ink without the addition of sheen or shading, but that is, in itself, limiting too.


  1. Thanks for a very interesting review! Particularly the pretty accurate comparison of the teals on swatch cards is super helpful!
    (Greetings from Berlin/Germany)

  2. Thanks Julie! Glad you like the swatches.