review: kyo-iro cherry blossom of keage - ink between the teeth

Oct 30, 2017

review: kyo-iro cherry blossom of keage

Hi everyone! Sorry for the lack of post last week; I was fighting off a cold, battling through a couple papers, and marching into work. I'm gonna try to keep track on this one post a week marathon I've been on, barring holiday weeks and such. I'm trying to be a good blogger now, you know!

Here's the second in what I'm lovingly calling my Toronto Ink Samples: Kyo-Iro Cherry Blossom of Keage. It's quite a mouthful of a name!

I'd actually never heard of Kyo-Iro or Kyo no Oto until Liz at Wonder Pens wrote a blog post about new, fresh shipments they'd received. My interest was quite piqued, particularly at Cherry Blossom of Keage and Yamabukiiro. With a couple of orangey-browns already in my inventory, I fought off the urge to pick up a sample of Yamabukiiro and figured I might as well scoop up Keage while I was there.

I've never been a fan of pink inks—to be fair, I've never been a fan of pink in general, which I'll chalk up to my rough-and-tumble tomboyish childhood. I turned my nose up at everything pink, much to my mom's chagrin, but as I've gotten older I've come to accept a very limited range of inks into my personal life. Do I love that everything woman-related has to be brightly marketed with pink? Absolutely not. But do I detest it as much as I do? Well, only sometimes.

Regardless, Keage is a really lovely color, particularly because it isn't really a true pink. It's a dusty pink, and doesn't that make a world of difference? Apparently, Keage is the name of a train station in Kyoto (thus the "Kyo" part in Kyo-Iro). Having never been, I'll assume that there are rows and rows of cherry trees lining the streets around Keage station. What a beautiful imaginary sight!
It's super interesting, because this ink has the tendency to shift in color quite a bit depending on the size of your nib. In a medium Pilot Metropolitan (closer to a western fine), the ink went down a more vibrant pink before drying down to something closer to a dusty, muted tone. However, you'll see with the use in a wetter pen, like the dipped Jinhao with a broad nib, the ink stays that vibrant color. I'm not sure what kind of wacky science has to happen for this to happen, but I'm happy to report that Keage shades really well thanks to this.

In my Pilot Metropolitan, a pen that has always been on the average but pleasant side of wetness, is a touch dry with this ink in it. It's not bothersome to me, but it is something that I've noticed. If dry inks are the one thing you can't stand, I would highly recommend putting this ink in a wetter pen in order to make up for the slight dryness.

It takes a little while for Keage to dry, and it's definitely not waterproof when it is. Your words will, unfortunately, turn into little puddles with the slightest touch of rain—but don't you think the little splotches kind of look like cherry blossom petals? Maybe that's just wistful thinking...

This is definitely a really interesting ink, and a color that I don't think I've seen before. J. Herbin Rouille d'Ancre comes close in that dry state, but Keage's definitely quite a bit pinker.

However, I don't believe that this is an ink that I would repurchase, mostly because of the price tag (Kyo-Iro and Kyo no Oto inks tend to be around $30). I love trying out new inks, but my budget doesn't love it. I'll certainly treasure the sample that I have.

I purchased a sample of this ink from Wonder Pens during my trip to Toronto in September. I wish I could do a long, long write-up of that visit, but I went with a friend and we had other places to go to, and consequently I stayed for about half an hour. It's a really gorgeous space and I highly recommend a visit if you're in town, and you should take a look around while you're there. Toronto has a great many things to do, and is super accessible for the 3G-less, directionally-challenged me.

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