I bought my bottle of Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun (Light Cool Gray) rather grudgingly. Iroshizuku inks were suggested when I asked for ink suggestions for my upcoming pen reviews. I would have preferred a black ink for my Sailor pro gear review but it wasn’t available at the time so I went for gray. I went for the full bottle over a sample since much of the Iroshizuku buzz was about the bottles.
I always felt grays were just watered down blacks. Lucky for me I was forced into this gray. I’ve made a noticeable dent in the bottle which must mean I like the ink.
I found the ink lived up to the reputation of Iroshizuku inks. It is well behaved, has good flow with my thin nibs and is quick drying. It also has good water resistance. There’s a little shading, even with my thin nibs.
Drying time on Rhodia paper was about 5 seconds with my fine and extra fine nibs. Drying time varied more with my medium nibs, although mainly because some were wetter than others. My Conway Stewart medium, a wet nib, took over 10 seconds to dry while my Pilot Metropolitan was still about 5 seconds to dry. Drying was even quicker on Doane Paper.
Despite being quick drying, the ink is slow to evaporate off the nib, even a fine Sailor nib. It wrote immediately even after being uncapped for several minutes.
The reliability, quick dry time, water resistance and slow nib evaporation make this my current favorite as a note taking ink. Despite being a
watered down black gray ink, I really like the way it looks on paper.
As an added bonus, this has been one of the easiest inks to clean from my pens, taking only a couple squirts from the bulb syringe.
The only negative is the price. At $0.56/ml this is a pricey ink. By comparison, Diamine ink is $0.16/ml.
Sailor Professional Gear Imperial Black w/ fine nib (my review): I’ve run several converter fills of this ink through the pen. The only issue I had was when the last converter was near empty. The pen would skip on the first letter after laying flat overnight. Other than that the pen was well behaved with the ink.
Edison Huron Grande w/ extra fine nib: A recent acquisition so I’m still on my first fill. No hesitation or skipping so far.
Those are the pens that have gotten the most use so far. The Pilot Metropolitan and Conway Stewart Marlborough Vintage, both medium nibs, along with Lamy Safaris with medium and broad nibs have also gotten some use with the ink. Writing samples are in the gallery below. For the water resistance test the ink was left to dry overnight before having water spilled on it.
Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun Edison EF, Pro Gear Fine. Metropolitan medium samples
Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun writing samples CS medium, Lamy broad & medium
Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun water resistance test
Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogun Handwritten Review (edjelley.com)