07 February 2020

Iroshizuku 2020

The only purpose of this text is to summarize the color gamut of Iroshizuku inks. Part of the information that I am including here had already been published in 2017, but there have been some changes since that time.

The chronology of these inks is as follows:

December 2007. First 5 inks: Asa-gao, Aji-sai, Tsuyu-kusa, Kon-peki, and Tsuki-yo. 50 ml inkwells for JPY 1500 (plus taxes).

July 2008. Another 5 inks: Ku-jaku, Sho-ro (Syo-ro), Shin-ryoku, Kiri-same, Fuyu-Shogun (Fuyu-syogun). 50 ml bottles.

November 2008. 4 inks: Yu-yake, Momiji, Yama-budo, Tsutsuji. 50 ml inkwells.

January 2009: The Tokyo Limited Edition was first released. These are three inks for sale in a small number of shops in Tokyo: Shimbashi-iro, Edo-murasaki, Fukagawa-nezu. 50 ml inkwells, JPY 1500 (plus taxes).

These inks were reissued in November of 2016 and in January of 2020 with the same limited distribution as in 2009. These reissues were available in both 50 ml inkwells and in three 15 ml inkwell set.


The Tokyo Limited Edition set of the "mini" Iroshizuku inkwells (edition of 2020).

May 2009. Tsukushi, Fuyu-gaki, Yama-guri. 50 ml inkwells.

October 2009. A new presentation became available for a short time: 3 inkwell set, 20 ml each, for JPY 3000 (plus taxes). There were four different sets, and it was not possible to change their content.


The set of three 20 ml inkwells from 2009.

August 2011. 4 more inks: Ina-ho, Kosumosu, Murasaki-shikibu, Chiku-rin.


The regular line of the series became complete in November of 2012.
The last three inks were Take-sumi, Shin-kai and Ama-iro.

November 2012. The final 3 inks to complete the 24 color range: Take-sumi, Shin-kai, Ama-iro.

January 2015. New presentation called Iroshizuku Mini: three 15 ml inkwell box for JPY 2100. On this occasion it is possible –at some shops- to choose the contents of the package.

March 2019. On the occasion of the centenary of Pilot, the company released 7 new Iroshizuku inks: Ebisu, Daikoku-ten, Bishamon-ten, Benzai-ten, Fuku-roku-ju, Juro-jin, Hotei-son. The presentations are individual 50 ml inkwells for JPY 1600, and boxed set of seven (all seven inks) 15 ml inkwells for JPY 8000.


The inks for the centenary of Pilot. These are the most expensive Iroshizuku inks at JPY 1600 per 50 ml.

All in all, the whole Iroshizuku line is composed of 34 inks: 24 of the standard series, 3 of the Tokyo Limited Edition, and 7 of the Centennial edition, also limited.

A remarkable detail of these (and other!) Pilot inks is the stability in the price: JPY 15000/50 ml has been the price since they were first released in 2007. The only exception are the 7 Centennial whose price in JPY 1600/50 ml, which is not an outrageous increase. And even the recent releases of the Tokyo Limited Edition preserved the price of 2009, when first marketed.

As a consequence, the originally overpriced inks (in 2007!) are now very reasonably priced, if not plainly inexpensive, when compared to other inks available in Japan.


Jinhao 51A – Unknown purplish ink

Bruno Taut
Nakano, February 5th 202017
labels: Pilot, tinta, mercado

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