review: pilot iroshizuku kiri-same - ink between the teeth

Feb 5, 2018

review: pilot iroshizuku kiri-same

We're going gray for two weeks! I'm taking a look at Pilot Iroshizuku's sibling grays.

Pilot Iroshizuku inks come in two sizes, and the larger 50 ml size is perhaps the best known. For $20 you get a beautiful, heavy glass bottle that looks like it would do well on display. The smaller 15 ml bottle is only available in the US in a pre-packaged, three-bottle set. In Taiwan, where I purchase my Iroshizuku from indie stores, the proprietors usually let you pick and choose your own sets. Few stores have the full bottles (usually out of space concerns) but then again, the majority of Taiwanese fountain pen users tend to use extra-fine and fine nibs, so a 15 ml bottle will last them a good, long while.

Kiri-same is one of two gray inks that are in the Iroshizuku line, and I do have both. I sometimes get the two confused, largely because I don't speak Japanese, but don't get it twisted: they are definitely two very different inks.
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Kiri-same was relatively quick to dry. Interestingly enough, this ink was quite resistant to water. Some pigment was lifted of the page; enough so that I wouldn't classify this as a waterproof ink, but it'll definitely hold up to a light rain. There's no sheen, but a moderate amount of shading.

When you look at Kiri-same by itself, you might think of it as something of a "true" gray, not quite the depth of graphite but quite neutral. When compared to Fuyu-syogun, however, you can see that Kiri-same is quite a bit warmer than Fuyu-syogun. I think Kiri-same runs slightly red, but it's quite neutral.

I've had this ink in my TWSBI Diamond 540 for quite a while, and I really do enjoy it in this pen! It writes as I expect in this pen; slightly wet, due to my 540's generous feed, but I also don't have any issues with hard starts or other problems with flow. It's quite a dependable and understated ink. I can expect it to write every time I pick up my 540.

I quite like Kiri-same. I'm not sure I would purchase it again, however. I think it's a plain color for the luxury price—interestingly enough, I don't think there's another color quite like it on the market, due to its warmer tone. I think that this fills a nice gap in my collection though, so I am glad I own it!

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