Thursday, January 17, 2013

A large canvas: Danitrio Genkai in Seirei-Nuri Urushi

This is one of my two Genkai pens and one of the three largest ones I own, the other one being a Sailor Susutake. These are large pens, probably made with the thought of a generous canvas for maki-e artwork in mind (which is as amazing as it is out of reach).

Danitrio Genkai in Seirei-Nuri

Seirei-Nuri is a technique which is, as far as I know, supposed to mimick the pattern of a dragonfly's wings. I sometimes can't help thinking "giraffe" when looking at this pen, it definitely looks like something that could occur in nature.  Every pen is made by hand, the pattern being unique to each.

Danitrio Genkai in Seirei-Nuri

Under the golden web, the distinct color gradient of tame-nuri Urushi is just visible. The golden web is made first by a sort of dipping technique, then sprinkled with gold dust. The red lacquer is applied over it but polished so the gold will show again in the end.
Like many Urushi surfaces this one will look very different depending on the lighting, from dark crimson to nearly orange in bright sunlight.

Danitrio Genkai in Seirei-Nuri

When I handed the pen to my Mum she suspected it to be a pen case. She was in for a surprise!

Montblanc Meisterstück 149, Danitrio Genkai, Pelikan M1000.
I said it was big, right? But that doesn't mean much when you don't have anything to compare it to, so here's the Genkai next to a Montblanc Meisterstück 149 and a Pelikan M1000.

Danitrio Genkai in Seirei-Nuri

I love how the pattern flows around the edges.

Danitrio Genkai in Seirei-Nuri
A pen as large as this needs an extra large nib - and so it got one. This one's a beautiful factory broad stub, not exactly flexible but soft and yielding, a reliable and very wet writer. It fills with an eyedropper and has an additional shutoff valve to prevent it from leaking when not in use, which works remarkably well.


  1. I find this to be a remarkable pen. Not only is it large, but its design is as simple as it could possibly be. You might well be right that this is on purpose, to not distract from the magnificent artwork applied to it (and I think both urushi and maki-e are both equally magnificent).
    I have also noticed you have a preference for large pens (which we share), a preference for broad and/or stubbed nibs (which we share as well) and a preference for Japanese pens. The last one puzzles me, for in my mind Japanese pens and broad nibs do not go together very often and that's the reason why I have stayed away Japanese pens so far.
    And just out of curiosity, you mentioned this pen is one of your three largest, but you named only two. Which is the third one?

    1. Hi Peter,
      Two of the three are Genkais. :) The other one is in plain red Urushi.
      It's true that many Japanese makers only offer rather fine nibs or not much choice of nibs at all (like Sailor, well, they have the music nib, and Namiki... Pilot too, I think, but not sure). Consequentially most of my Japanese pens are from either Danitrio are Nakaya which are both exceptions. Danitrio has their nibs made by Bock here in Germany so they have the usual Western sizes and also factory stubs. Nakaya also have a rather wide range of nibs, including their delightful music nib, and if you order them from John Mottishaw ( you can have almost any kind of tipping shape and size on them. That's why I'd always prefer these brands over other Japanese ones, though others offer beautiful designs as well.
      Enjoy your snow desaster while it lasts! ;) Will do so too.