Ink Review: Iroshizuku Yama-Budo

Continuing my "red" kick, this week I've been using a lot of Iroshizuku Yama-Budo, an ink I like but have not used much in recent months.  That's due more to my glut of ink and tendency to rotate colors regularly than to any problems with this particular ink, of which there are none.  It's an unusual color (Pilot translates Yama-Budo as "Crimson Glory Vine"), and I personally have not seen an equivalent anywhere else.  From looking at swatches, I'd consider Rohrer & Klingner Solferino (link here for a swatch) or possibly their Magenta (link here) to be similar.  However, I've used neither of these two inks and have no idea how they would compare to Yama-Budo in terms of properties.  I can't imagine that you would get much better than Pilot's premium ink.

Handwritten review of Iroshizuku Yama Budo on Exacompta Index Card stock. 

As you can see from the writing sample, Yama-Budo is a pinkish-purple, which is just purple enough to use in a professional capacity, and contains enough pink to make the ink interesting without looking garish.  I like this ink in a wider nib--you can get some nice shading!  Otherwise, it's like any other Iroshizuku ink:  the dry time is relatively quick, and it works fine on less expensive paper.   

Here's a photographed writing sample, as opposed to a scan.  This is not a bright, "hot pink" ink.  The photograph probably captures the ink's depth of color slightly better than the scan does.  As I noted in my review of Pelikan's Edelstein Turmaline, my opinion is that the Turmaline leans to much in the "pink" direction to use at work and be taken seriously.  My earlier review contains a side-by-side comparison of the two inks (Yama-Budo and Turmaline).  If you look at samples of them separately, you might think they look similar. 

Iroshizuku often gets knocked for its steep price tag, which is around $30 at most retailers.  However, you can often find a discount code or take advantage of free shipping deals to lower the cost.  I'm also a fan of trading unused bottles of ink on forum sites such as FPGeeks or the Fountain Pen Network.  Personally, I've never had a hard time justifying paying a premium for these inks.  They work well in nearly all pens, you get a standard 50ml (which lasts a typical person a really long time), and the ink bottle itself is hefty and looks great on a desk.    

The Iroshizuku line of ink uses one of my favorite bottles.  The bottle itself contains a depression in the bottom to make it easier to fill a pen when the ink level gets low. 

You can purchase the full line of Iroshizuku from our sponsor,, for $31.50 per bottle, and all orders over $50 receive free shipping.  (link here)  For you PenAddict listeners out there, take advantage of Pen Chalet's special deals for that podcast! 

Fairness Disclosure:  While Pen Chalet carries the ink, they did not provide this bottle for review, which comes from my own collection.  Therefore, I received no compensation for this particular review.