I have been wanting to try this ink and also to finally try my Opus 88 demonstrator – truly a thing of beauty in itself. A great review of the pen can be found at papergirl.
I love Japanese inks, the colour range is excellent and no matter the brand the ink behave impeccably in any pen. They are usually saturated and have good shading characteristics. Sailor is a popular manufacturer of inks and as well as the eponymous line Sailor make inks for a number of stationary / department stores in Japan. Some of these inks are next to impossible to obtain except Bungbox and Kobe Story.
The Kobe story inks are made by Sailor for the Nagasawa department store in Kobe. In Japan they are known as monogatari – so if you go internet hunting for them you will find them under: Kobe Story, Nagasawa -Penstyle and Monogatari.
The origin of these inks is based in the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake. This led Naojuki Takeuchi an employee of the Nagasawa stationery centre to launch the Kobe Ink Story range starting in 2007 with Rokko Green – reflecting the dark green forest of Mount Rokko.
Takeuchi is now in his early 60s but has added a new colour every few months, over 50 inks have now been created. He came up with the idea for the first ink while clearing up earthquake damage at the shop, his eyes would be drawn to the window, through which he could see the green slopes of Mount Rokko amid a landscape of collapsed buildings. Apparently he oversees everything in the production up to the ordering of samples.
The only place I could find these inks in Australasia was Milligram. They retail for $A34.95 for 50ml (70c/ml). This is a reasonable price, I have bought inks from japan and the Kobe Story inks from my usual retail source are similar in price. It is always hard to judge a colour online but recently Milligram opened a shop in Melbourne so I thought it was a good opportunity to purchase some as I would be able to see accurate colours.
Whenever I visit Melbourne I usually go to Pencity to buy ink as I like the fact they have every single ink they sell swatched, they don’t seem to mind how much time you take pouring over the swatches. It is the most helpful way of deciding on inks I have found. Unfortunately Pencity is closed at the moment due to significant water damage to the shop.
I raise this because the Milligram experience in choosing inks was not so great but the service in the shop was excellent. I had decided I wanted to buy some ink and thought I would look at the new shop in Melbourne central.
My complaints and note these are my issues, others may not be bothered. Milligram has an ink wall, all the inks they sell are swatched but:
As the inks are made by Sailor they come in the standard Sailor shaped bottles.
I only tried the ink with a medium nib which allowed it to shade a bit. Other reviewers have noted that in fine nibs the colour tends to be more uniform. It is aptly named as brick
It worked well on both Tomoe river paper and some very cheap notebook paper.
Though the ink works well it isn’t an exciting colour. It looks far more interesting in the bottle (photo below) but that vibrance does not come across on the page. I am looking forward to trying the other Kobe Story inks that I bought.