I don’t know what’s taken me so long to write up a review of this ink. I’ve had this bottle for over three years: it was the first Iroshizuku ink that I purchased, back when you could only get this ink stateside from Jetpens, and it’s remained one of my favorites. Unfortunately, I let it languish in the back of my ink cabinet, covered up by some other bottles of ink that I later cleared out. Despite a year or so of non-use, I used this ink so much early on that the bottle is just half-full!
I’ve reviewed many other Iroshizuku inks on the blog. For those new readers, Iroshizuku is Pilot/Namiki’s “luxury” line of fountain pen inks, offering colors outside the somewhat restrictive blue/black/blue-black range sold under the Pilot moniker. When it first came out, Iroshizuku was regarded as expensive, and sold for approximately $30 per bottle (which is still its official MSRP). Amazon now regularly sells the ink for less than $20 per bottle, so the price of entry has gone down. Also, Both Jetpens and Vanness Pens sell "mini" 15ml Iroshizuku bottles if you don't want to commit to a full 50ml bottle. Those will set you back about $12, though sometimes you can find a deal and pick up three for $20.
One of my favorite things about Iroshizuku is the name that Pilot/Namiki gives each ink. Though only the Japanese name appears on the bottle, most stores also provide the English translation (which I assume is accurate and comes directly from Pilot). Tsuki-Yo translates to “Moonlight.” The ink, when wet, appears as a rich blue-black, but when it dries fades somewhat to a dark teal, and hints of blue-green emerge. On certain papers, and when you are writing with a wet nib, you get some pretty good red sheen.
Like all Iroshizuku inks, Tsuki-Yo dries quickly and doesn't smear. On cheaper paper, and on some index cards, you will get slight feathering and bleedthrough when using a very wet fountain pen nib. For this writing sample, I used a Nock Co. Dot-Dash index card, and you can see some feathering where the ink pools at the bottom of downstrokes on certain letters. I've started using this ink again at work (where I typically use fine and extra-fine nibs), and I haven't had any problems.
Other Reviews of Iroshizuku Tsuki-Yo
Azizah at Gourmet Pens has some awesome writing samples in various nib widths, which really show off the shading of the ink and the sheen.
Ian over at PensPaperPencils reviewed the ink as well, and names Tsuki-Yo as one of his favorite dark blue inks.
Ed Jelley has an extensive handwritten review that includes comparisons with other inks.
Some Other Iroshizuku Inks I've Reviewed
If you like the look of Tsuki-Yo, then you may want to check these out:
Iroshizuku Asa-Gao: "Morning Glory." A nice bright blue ink.
Iroshizuku Yama-Budo: "Wild Grape." An ink that blurs the line between crimson, magenta, and purple. A unique color that I love.
Iroshizuku Kon-Peki: "Deep Azure Blue." An ink that didn't stick with me. I sold this bottle, but I find myself missing this ink. So it goes. I may pick up another bottle after I finish one of the myriad bottles of blue ink that I have lying around.
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