Pilot Iroshizuku Murasaki-shikibu: Ink Review

Pilot's Iroshizuku line contains some of the most popular inks we sell and one of those is their perfect purple coloration, Murasaki-shikibu. Named for a historic female novelist of the Heian period, this ink delivers regal beauty all day long. Read on to see what we think! 


Ink Review 

Supplies Used:

Smear Test (Dry Time):

  • 15-20 seconds – A solid median dry time and consistent with the rest of the Iroshizuku line. In a medium this is a good time for most but it may be a bit longer with larger nibs.

Drip Test (Water Resistance):

  • Low – The water really washed away the color but left an interesting gray tone behind. Pretty cool but not water resistant! 


  • Medium – While its' not the darkest and most saturated purple, it's quite robust on the page. The swabs show little changed from 1 to 3. This is about as light as I would presonally go for a purple ink.

Ease of Cleaning: 

  • Easy - The Iroshizuku line from Pilot is very easy to clean and Murasaki-shikibu is no different! 


  • Medium – In the medium nib or larger you can coax out some nice shading but on finger nibs the line appears much more uniform.


  • High – This ink has excellent flow for something on the lighter side of purple and it really loves to write! 

 Packaging and Aesthetics:

  • The Iroshizuku bottles are lovely and look excellent on the desk. They give a certain gravitas to the ink that can't be duplicated.

If you're interested in similar colors, check out our Swab Shop where you can compare colors side by side.


Murasaki-shikibu boasts the solid performance we've come to expect from the Pilot Iroshizuku line! The coloration lands in the goldilocks zone of not too light and not too dark. It's wet writing but not too much so, and can deliver some lovely shading if utilized correctly. We love Murasaki-shikibu and hope you do too! 

This color is available in 50ml bottles, cartridges as well as our sample size.