Sophisticated Simplicity

How do you explain 1000 years of japanese art and craftsmanship in one sentence? The answer is: you can’t. There is one thing though. The Namiki Yukari Royale and we had the great honor, actually the privilege of having it in our offices.

The Yakuri Royale is like that word that is on the tip of your tongue, that you cant describe it but you know how to use it very well. What do we mean? Its simple really. While holding the pen in your hand you can’t help but wonder how a pen so simple to look at can be such a wonderful piece of art. The answer is really this: It is all in the details.

The roots of this pen go thousands of years back to the land of the rising sun. The name Namiki is from the founder, Mr Namiki who founded pilot pens. However, the Namiki brand is top tier quality of pen derived from the Japanese art form known as Maki-e. ( Seriously we will be doing, a whole article of the history of that in itself. ) The first Namiki pen was released more than 70 years ago. This Namiki Yukari Royale is another pen in a long history of writing instruments in Urushi however This Namiki Yukari Royale is not JUST another pen in a long history of writing instruments in Urushi. What do I mean? Each piece is hand lacquered. That means each piece, though looking similar will be unique to the owner. Why talk about Pen lacquer?  Simply put, it’s the heart and soul of this pen. On one glance this Yukari royale appears simple. But when you take note of this pen and really admire the beauty of it, It feels like staring eye to eye with a galaxy. A simple but intricate black hole, a contrast that can only exist in on this pen. The beauty lies within the craft of the Maki-e.

The Maki-e is a traditional craft where the delicate process of lacquering is repeated over and over. It goes without saying that it cannot be imitated in a short time. There, from an introduction by a pioneer in the lacquerwork world, Shisui Rokkaku, pupil and later to become living national treasure, Maki-e artist Gonroku Matsuda, was invited, and under instruction from the pair, the Maki-e fountain pen was completed.

In hand , The Yukari Royale feels so natural. It feels like I was born with this thing in my hand. The cigar style design makes it easy to hold without ever having to use a lighter. Perhaps the flashiest part of this piece is the 18k gold nib signed with the artist name Kokkokai, and the signature Namiki trademark. The clip and cap are also gold coated, with Namiki inscribed on the clip. The nibs are available in broad, fine and medium. My personal preference is broad because it reminds me of the strokes in japanese calligraphy. The nib is smooth, so smooth that at times it didn’t even feel like the nib was touching the paper. Just another example of the craftsmanship the Kokkokai group have to offer.

We were nothing short of impressed with this pen. This pens represents the simplicity of the culture in japan and reinforces the rich heritage and values it offers. At Inkstable we are all about bringing our readers in the light of the writing instruments world, but Mr Namiki said it best: “In the way Sumo is Japan’s national sport, Maki-e is the nation’s light.” – Ryosuke Namiki

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