Review: Sailor Shikiori Yonaga

“Yonaga” in Japanese is translated as “long autumn night/evening” in English, and this is an apt name for this ink. It’s a mesmerizing, deep, dark blue that reminds me of quiet, moonless evenings.

Yonaga is one of the four new Shikiori (Four Seasons) inks released by Sailor in late 2017, bringing the total number of inks in the Four Seasons line to twenty. Along with the addition of these four inks, Sailor has also redesigned its ink bottle. All Shikiori inks now come in rectangular, 20 ml bottles, instead of the round and squat 50ml bottles. (I like the shape and how easy it is to fill from them, but I would’ve appreciated having more ink per bottle.) The change in bottles also comes with an increase in the price of the ink per milliliter.

Like other Sailor inks I use regularly such as Yama-Dori and Tokiwa-Matsu, Yonaga has excellent flow. I used two pens for this review, a Faber Castell Loom in medium and a Sailor 1911S in fine. The ink flowed very well in both. I didn’t experience any clogging or hard starts.

This ink is quite saturated and also exhibits some beautiful shading. Its hues range from midnight blue to blue-black. The ink dries matte on the page but it doesn’t lose its vibrance. Here’s a comparison of Yonaga to other dark blue and blue-black inks (see picture below).

The first time I used this ink, I thought “whoa!” I wasn’t expecting such an intense color and generous flow. I had an even bigger surprise, though, when I used the ink with my 6.4mm Pelikan Graphos nib on 52 gsm, cream Tomoe River paper. Green sheen seemed to have materialized out of nowhere! I definitely wasn’t expecting *that*.

I have to mention that I didn’t notice this sheen when using this ink on Rhodia or Clairefontaine paper. This became apparent on Tomoe River paper and when the ink pooled heavily on the page.

All in all, I am happy to have found yet another excellent Sailor ink. If I have one complaint, it’s that the bottle it comes in is too small. I foresee using up the 20ml in no time, as Yonaga’s gorgeous color and easy flow have made it a quick favorite.