Sunday, November 12, 2017

Kyôto Colors

Takeda Jimuki is a company based in Kyôto dedicated to supply office equipment. As part of its business, Takeda Jimuki also runs a small chain of stationers called TAG with branches, among other places, in Tokyo.

In collaboration with the corporation Kyôto Kusaki Zome Kenkyujo, dedicated to develop and market dyes out of plants, Takeda Jimuki manufactures some inks for fountain pens.

As of today, November of 2017, these two companies produce two lines of inks: Sounds of Kyôto (Kyô-no Oto), and Colors of Kyôto (Kyô-no Iro). Each of them is formed by six inks with, of course, poetic and allegoric names.

The Kyô-no Oto line:
-- Azuki Iro, the color of Vigna angulares. Purplish brown.
-- Nureba Iro, wet crow. A black ink.
-- Imayô Iro, trendy color (at least in the Heian period). Purple.
-- Koke Iro, moss color. Green.
-- Yamabuki Iro, Kerria japonica. Yellow.
-- Aonibi, dull blue. A grayish blue.


Some of the "sounds of Kyôto" (Kyô-no Oto).

The Kyô-no Iro inks:
-- Arashiyama-no Shimofuri, frost in Arashiyama. An orange brown ink.
-- Gion-no Ishidatami, cobblestones in Gion. Green.
-- Higashiyama-no Tukikage, moon shadow of Higashiyama. Orange.
-- Fushimi-no Shunuri, gates of Fushimi. Red.
-- Keage-no Sakuragasane, pink color on a kimono collar. Pink.
-- Ohara-no Mochiyuki, soft snow in Ohara. Purple.


Some of the "colors of Kyôto" (Kyô-no Iro).

Some of those colors might nit be currently in production. That could be the case of Azuki Iro and Arishiyama-no Shimofuri. But at the same time there are some limited edition inks like the “secret color”, Hisoku; a pale blue. This ink is part of the Kyô-no Oto line.


Another sound of Kyôto: Hisoku.

These inks come in 40 ml. bottles at a price of JPY 1400 (taxes included). That is JPY 1296 without taxes, and about JPY 32.5/ml. This price is JPY 2.5/ml more expensive than the Pilot’s Iroshizuku inks.

The packaging is very attractive while simple.


Gion-no Ishidatami and Koke Iro.

As long as I can see, these inks have a very limited distribution both inside and outside of Japan, albeit some companies are selling them overseas.


Romillo Nervión – Sailor Blue Iron (personal ink)

Bruno Taut
Nakano, November 6th 2017
labels: Kyôto, tinta, Takeda Jimuki

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