review: sailor shikiori yozakura - ink between the teeth

Mar 26, 2018

review: sailor shikiori yozakura

I promised a while ago that I would talk about the new Sailor inks, and here I am talking about them a couple of months late! I promise I was on time with getting the ink itself. Just, you know, the rest of it got a bit delayed.

Now that I have this little bottle in my hands, I can give you a better idea of how Sailor will be formatting their ink line in the future. Behold, the tiny pamphlet that came in the box:
I don't read Japanese, but I think this is pretty clear. All inks are now under the same Shikiori umbrella. The "Four Seasons" line is now the Izayoi-no Yume line—with four inks attributed to each season—and the new inks are released under the Tsukuyo-no-Minamo name. So in total, there are 20 inks (not counting the usual black, blue, and blue-black).

All of these inks are now the same size as well: 20ml. It's just 5ml more than a small bottle of Pilot Iroshizuku. Even a bottle of J. Herbin has more ink! It's also approximately the same price as the 50ml bottles. I know. It's... unnecessary. These bottles have been rolling out to the U.S. since the beginning of the year, so I hope you picked up a 50ml bottle while you had the chance. Hey, I posted those reviews early for you too!

So let's talk about this bottle. It's glass, and quite hefty despite its size. It has a matte bronze-gold plastic cap. The opening is very wide, so you'll have no issues putting your pens in here. I think it's a good depth for filling, at least for a little while. It has a sticker on the front with the name and color of the ink. It's not in English, though there's two stickers on the box that you can peel off and stick right on top, like Ana suggests at the Well-Apoointed Desk.

Yozakura is a very interesting color: it's a dusty, light purple with a slight hint of pink.
For information on how I do my reviews, please visit my policy page.

Guess what: I found out I was using the auto-exposure feature on my university's scanner, which has been blowing the colors out in a major way. Massive d'oh. Scans from now on should be somewhat closer to reality, but I'll continue providing natural light photos!
The ink has a surprising amount of water resistance, particularly for a color that's this light. I was really impressed! Yozakura has good shading, and no sheen to speak of.

Yozakura is a bit dry, so I didn't really enjoy it in the first pen I filled with it (my TWSBI Diamond 580 RB). It was very uncomfortable to use with the stock medium nib, and the Jinhao nib I ground to a 1mm stub/italic wasn't much better. I'll have to see how it feels in a wetter pen, but so far I don't have the highest hopes.
I compare it here to some of the colors I have in my collection, but nothing really comes close. J. Herbin Rouille D'ancre and Kyo Iro Keage no Sakurasagane are both too pink. Diamine Tyrian Purple is kinda there, but it's redder and much deeper. Yozakura definitely a color that's in its own category, as far as my ink collection goes!

I can't say I would buy the ink again at this price point. It's great for a taste, but honestly, it's way too expensive for how much you get, especially when you still have the bitter reminder of what you could have still on your ink shelf.

Are there people who appreciate the smaller bottle? Absolutely. I am not one of them. The price per ml is too ridiculous to me. Even if Yozakura is a color that's hard to find (which is true!) I would much rather buy a similar color at a cheaper price than get this dinky little bottle again.

I wrote this review prior to the news that Sailor is also releasing 100 (!) new inks, which are also in the same 20ml bottle at the same price point. This is so weird. I don't get it.

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