Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-Budo

Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-Budo

Iroshizuku Yama-Budo by Pilot Pen Company is probably one of the most popular/desired inks out there, and Pilot’s Iroshizuku series belongs probably to the best inks in the market. There is number of reasons why, which I will try to explain. First of all the way how this ink is presented. The substantial bottle made out of pretty thick, crystal-like glass just stands out from other inks I have on my shelf. The ink looks beautiful in there. When shaken it flows down the bottle slowly creating fine layer of ink which looks just awesome! It may reminds a good quality of red wine in the glass when spin around. This ink and wine has more in common. since Yama budo  translates as ‘wild mountain grapes’ or ‘wild mountain grapes’ after plant called Vitis coignetiae (Yama budo).

The color:  Before I purchased it few months ago, I was quite skeptic and unsure about deep magenta/pinkish ink. I thought initially, that this color is possibly is not for me… not for daily use and possibly people around will look at me strangely. Imagine nearly 40-ty years old  punk/metal guy writing notes in the chem lab with ‘pink’ ink. Yes…but I do! First time I opened the bottle, refilled my pen and wrote first word I completely fall in love with this ink. I thought, Oh my God this thing just flows through the pen and then does its magic on the paper, making my clumsy hand, pen and paper a one continuum. This ink really performs well. The flow and lubrication are very well balanced. Ink stays on the nib and in the feed (is not nib-o-phobic like many others), so I never had any problems with starting using this ink. Even finicky, not ‘every ink pen’, like  Pilot Falcon writes well with this ink on glossy paper.

Color lies between magenta and purple, however the color spectrum is quite broad and complex (see ink ‘chromatogram’)  On white paper it look more magenta, whereas on ivory toned paper it is more toward purple. The dark purple side of this ink may be exploited more with wet pens  (or broad / flexible nibs).  Pens with fine and dry nibs produces more pinkish-magenta line. In my opinion this ink definitely looks better when more saturated. It has also another amazing feature – it reflects light in the particular manner, and when viewed at certain angle this ink shines and does this very well! You can noticed that this golden shine is very pronounced on the Mnemosyne swab I did with at least two passes of ink. This cool effect is well visible when flexible nib is used. It creates some sort of shiny outline, especially on down stroke. It just looks fantastic.

The drying time is good and it does not smear (especially when highly saturated). Depending on paper quality (and pen), the bleedthrough is medium to none. The feathering is almost neglectable.  It has almost none resistance to water. Water dilutes this ink very well, so it is very easy to clean. However, the ink stains may stay on the skin for a while.

Positives: Pilot Iroshizuku series defines what modern inks should be. Perfect balance between color and it saturation. Great physical properties (adhesion, flow, lubrication)…and it shines!

Negatives: Well, this is not a cheap ink at all. The 50ml bottle price tag is around $ 28.0  US or  £27-29.0 in the UK.  However, there are also cheaper options on eBay/Amazon from Japanese sellers (customs may apply).


Highly Recommended! You can’t get wrong with this ink.