Autumn shower: A short review of Pilot Iroshizuku Kiri-same ink

A work of art
A work of art

If there’s one thing I know about, living on the edge of the lake district as I do, it is the colour grey. In fact the sky varies in its tone of grey  for most of the year . Ironically as I look out of my skylight today it is bright blue, not that I’m complaining… So I’m something of an expert on greys.. especially the grey of our plentiful autumn showers ( Japanese: Kiri-same) so when I received some of this ink it seemed an absolute natural to review.

the classy Iroshizuku box
the classy Iroshizuku box

Presentation: This is a Pilot Iroshizuku ink and so comes immaculately packed  and bottled. Thus far in my experience of buying ink the Pilot Iroshizuku’s rank very highly in terms of their presentation. They have that touch of Japanese styling and proportion that is so pleasing to the eye.

On Test: This ink is a true silvery grey. There are no hints of green here, which is a common flaw in some other grey inks, so that is to this ink producer’s credit. There may be a slight purple tint to this ink , but to be honest it’s not a major turn off. In terms of  its hue I must mention that one of the nibs I use on test is a vintage gold nib on a Mentmore fountain pen. This is a very soft nib and using Kiri-same with this pen the ink varied from a serene silver-grey to a deep dark charcoal colour. Using a different nib meant a return to the medium silver-grey tones.

Autum shower
Autum shower

As you would expect the ink behaves very well. No visible feathering and good flow along with a respectable drying time on the stock Rhodia dot grid test paper. I can imagine in a very dry pen this colour looking a tad washed out, but in the type of pen I would use for this ink it is very classy. I imagine it can be used in a variety of settings, from the formal everyday business user to the arty and poetic fringe of fountain pen use.


Summary: I like this ink, I seem to be growing in my appreciation for classy grey inks as a whole. I don’t know whether it’s an age thing or whether these tones just resonate deeply into my slate gray northern soul. Either way they are slowly moving up the chart in terms of the inks which I commonly use. The main question that always hangs over the high-priced inks like these particular Iroshizuku’s is the obvious, ‘Are they really worth it?’ To be fair it is the one question I can’t honestly answer for you. They may or may not be worth the money depending on your taste, circumstances and value judgement. But are they beautiful? That’s easy, yes they are!



4 thoughts on “Autumn shower: A short review of Pilot Iroshizuku Kiri-same ink

  1. Nice review. I tried this ink, and it is really nice, but it was too light for what I was after. Still it’s definitely the colour of rain clouds, and you can get some nice shading too.

    1. Thanks for the comment. The sample you sent me inspired my use of this ink. In a wet writing pen it’s great!

  2. I love this ink. I have this ink loaded in my Platinum 3776 Century with a SF point. It shows up for everyday writing. What I like about the grey inks, is that I can pull them off as black. As a scientist, I am only supposed to write in my laboratory notebook in either blue or black ink. I sort of bend the rules a bit and incorporate some grey and blue-black 🙂 I am a little bit of a rebel. Noodler’s Lexington Grey is also a favorite. I think I like it because it has a matte finish to the ink. It seems to me to be a bit on the chalky looking side of things. I think it is darker than the Kiri-Same and much less expensive, although I am not sure who would carry the brand in England or Europe.

  3. I have been using this ink in a Pilot Vanishing Point pen with a medium nib. As a registered nurse I really like this combination because I have to write everything in a “black” ink but it is obvious if it was me that wrote the entry due to the ink. This “security feature” gives me peace of mind. The ink also plays nice with cheap copier paper.

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