Shosaikan is a stationary store in Tokyo, it is quite ‘posh’ being found a very upmarket area. It can be found in Minami Aoyama close to the Omotesando station. Seiren (セイレン)is an original Japanese romantic comedy anime television series directed by Tomoki Kobayashi. It aired in early 2017.
Shosaikan specialises in brush and fountain pens, they have two inks made for them by Sailor. A green ink (shinzan) and this ink seiren, which is blue. Unlike many of the other companies Sailor makes ink for e.g. Bungubox and Kingdom Note, Shosaikan have kept the vase shaped bottles all Sailor inks used to come in. The only indication of the ink contents inside is a discreet yellow dot on the top of the box. The bottle itself has an unusual label, running from top to bottom.
I was given some of this ink as a sample so I have no idea what it looks like in the bottle. I had no inkling it was blue and when I filled my pen I spilt some and I thought it was going to be a purple ink.
Chromatography was quite exciting as the ink contained blue, green, purple and turquoise – what was the finished product going to be like?
The col-o-ring and Tomoe swatches were interesting in so much as it is definitely a dark blue ink but there was a different sheen depending on the swatch. Col-o-ring green and Tomoe red.
For the writing I started with copy paper -this is a very dark blue ink without going over to blue-black. Dry time was impressive but there was some show through.
Rhodia was next. Again a very dark blue and though I wrote there was no feathering in the close-up photos you can see there actually has been a bit of feathering. Dry times remain impressive.
On Tomoe the ink was very slow to dry compared to the previous papers. However, here you could see immediately it was a blue ink, it is not as dark as on Rhodia / copy paper. Sadly the sheen is not really obvious.
I am not a blue fan but I do like this ink. I was lucky to get a sample and I suspect unless you go to Tokyo or use a Japanese based proxy e.g. white rabbit express you will not be able to buy this ink. I’m disappointed about that.
I have no alternatives (dupes) to suggest as I could not find another blue this dark without it becoming a blue-black ink.
Saturation – high
Shading – no
Sheen – minimal
Shimmer - no
Flow – good
Nib dry-out - none
Nib creep - none
Start-up – immediate
Feathering – yes, surprisingly on Rhodia and not really cheap copy paper
Drying – depends on the paper
Cleaning – moderately easy – took a little more work than other inks because it is so saturated
Water resistance – surprisingly poor, I thought an ink this saturated would be better