Ink Review: Pilot Iroshizuku Ina-ho

Review by Laura Cameron

Pilot Iroshizuku Ina-ho is the final bottle of ink that I purchased from Jesi at the St. Louis Pen Show (backed up much?).  I was very intrigued by this one since Ina-ho translate to “rice ear.”

Ina-ho is a brown gold color, named as such after the fields of rice ears that turn golden before harvest.

This one doesn’t have any shimmer or sheen that I can see, but tons of lovely shading that ranges between a light gold to a darker brown. In most of the written applications (with a pen nib) the ink comes across very gold. It’s only in darker applications (ink drops or q-tip swabs) where it comes across as a dark brown.

In terms of color comparisons, I didn’t have a ton in my ink “stash” that looks like Ina-ho. Most of my browns are way too brown, and the few golds I have are much lighter.  My closest match was probably Colorverse Gluon, notwithstanding the sparkle.

Platinum Citrus Black is a smidge lighter than the light parts of Ina-ho, and even my lighter browns (Noodlers Rome Burning and Platinum Khaki Black) are too dark. In a sense, this is happy making because Ina-ho is a shade I truly didn’t have before!

Ina-ho performs as well as I’ve come to expect from Pilot Iroshizuku inks. It goes down wet, but dries relatively quickly. I had no issues with it flowing through any of my nibs.  The holidays are coming – maybe it’s time to add a gold to your list?

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2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Hi, I’m old enough to remember before ball point pens. Yet I have collected one model of every kind I used since the inkwells for our quill pens on our school desks. BUT reading lots of your articles on Fountain Pens, can you please describe what makes the differences (other than color of course) between one kind of ink vs another for Fountain (and even quill) Pens?
    Thanks. Wizz.

    1. The difference in inks, beyond the vast array of colors, is that some inks perform wetter or drier and some inks include lubricating properties that make them less likely to clog in finer nibbed pens. Japanese brands like Pilot and Sailor make lubricated inks for fine Japanese nib pens though they can be used in any pen. DeAtramentis inks are wetter in general. Heavily pigmented inks tend to be drier because the ratio of pigment to liquid is higher like Organics Studio and Colorverse. But YMMV and opinions differ, sometimes just because all the inks from a specific manufacturer may vary in performance. Widely considered the most consistent inks, I would recommend Waterman, Diamine, and most Lamy inks for being not too wet, not too dry and overall good performers.

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