Review: Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun

Are you looking for a cool, calming ink? Then Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogun fits the bill. Though it is referred to as "Old Man Winter" in English, there is nothing gloomy about this grey ink with a slight bluish tinge. In fact, it reminds me of the grey shadows lining clouds on a bright, blue day.

So in the fountain pen world, we sometimes refer to inks as "well-behaved", right? (It sits properly, speaks politely, and drinks tea with a raised pinky...you get the idea.) Well, this is one of the most "well-behaved" inks I've come across. It flows well in all the pens I've used it in. I haven't noticed any feathering or bleedthrough in the different kinds of paper that I use, and it's a breeze to clean from converters and piston-fillers. It isn't a highly saturated ink, but neither is it too light on the page. It exhibits dramatic shading when I use it in a broad and/or wet pen. The strokes range from a light graphite grey to a darker bluish slate. Needless to say, this grey ink is anything but boring.

Here's a comparison of Fuyu-Syogun with three other grey inks that I also enjoy using: Diamine Silver Fox, Diamine Grey, and Diamine Earl Grey. The touch of blue in Fuyu-Syogun is apparent compared to the other inks.

The picture below contrasts Fuyu-Syogun with a black ink (Kuretake Black). Please excuse the amateurish attempt at brush painting, smudges and all. The paper used here is Maruman Mnemosyne.

Fuyu-Syogun has become one of my favorite inks. Its unique color and marked shading give it a soothing presence on the page.

The Inky Way, 2020