What is Chinkin?
The word 'Chinkin' translates to 'Gold Inlay', which is the method used to create each pen. Specialized chisels carve out designs in the Urushi lacquer. Since every chisel mark will show in the final pen, there is absolutely no room for error. Artisans train for years in order to accomplish each work of art.
Once the carving is completed, gold and silver metal powder is then gently laid into the cuts. This method creates an incredibly dynamic design as if each form is about to pop off the pen. The contrast between the deep black with bright gold is both classic and stunning. When holding the pen in your hand, you can see just how much detailed work went into creating these works of art. It is both astonishing and humbling.
18k Gold Nib
Each pen comes with a smooth writing 18k gold nib. The nib depicts Mount Fuji in a silver-colored relief. Nib sizes range from Fine to Broad.
Namiki Chinkin fountain pens come complete with a Con-70 converter. This filling mechanism is remarkably easy to fill. Additionally, Con-70s hold an impressive amount of ink, making them ideal for long writing sessions.
Because each pen is handmade, a very limited number are created each year. Each pen bears the signature of the artisan or group that created it.
While the technique used to create all of these is the same, they vary in body type.
Cherry Blossoms, Crane, Pine Tree, and Silver Grass are similar in size to the Yukari fountain pens, with a flat topped cap.
The Rooster and Cat designs are closer to the Yukari Royale. They are larger with a rounded cap, and feature a larger nib as well.
Although the body shapes are different, they are both classic designs, well balanced, and pleasing to hold.
The cherry blossom has symbolized many different ideas over the centuries in Japan. The briefness of the bloom coupled with the beauty of the flowering is a representation of the life cycle. The use of Chinkin techniques in creating this pen give a vivaciousness to the flowers in mid-bloom as they wrap around the body and cap of the pen.
The Namiki Chinkin Crane captures the feeling of a bird caught in mid-flight. The crane is a Japanese national symbol, representing longevity and good luck. It is often associated with weddings and is depicted on countless artistic works throughout Japanese history.
In Japan, the Pine Tree symbolizes longevity, virtue, and youth. It is associated with the new year, as well, and can be seen in the form of a kadu matzu, which is an arrangement of pine branches that are hung across the door or gate. This theme also appears on other Namiki pens, like the Yukari Maki-e Pine Needles. You can clearly see the pine needles, as well as the organic lines of the branches on each pen.
The geometric criss-crossing lines of the Namiki Chinkin Silver Grass create a stunningly structured, yet whimsical piece. Silver grass is depicted in many works of Japanese art and even a popular strategy game Hanafuda. On the island of Okinawa, silver grass leaves are knotted together to ward off evil.
The Namiki Chinkin Cat was created in collaboration with the Kokkokai (a collection of Maki-e artists). It depicts a mischievous looking cat peering up from among wheat. The cat is lucky symbol in Japan, typically as the beckoning cat, with one arm raised and waving. This pen is a larger Yukari Royale size.
Like the Chinkin Cat, the Namiki Chinkin Rooster was created in conjunction with the Kokkokai. The stunning details on each pen are awe-inspiring. Since the rooster calls to the morning, in ancient Japanese, it was seen as the dispelling of evil spirits. It has since come to be a symbol for courage and can be seen in countless works of art. This pen is also in the larger Yukari Royale size.
We hope you enjoyed learning more about these truly remarkable fountain pens. Check out our collection page below to see what's in stock plus any new additions we've added!