Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-Kai – Ink Review

Iroshizuku Shi-Kai… Seriously, Does It Get Better?

Allow me to introduce you to my favorite Blue-Black ink. This ink is superb in nearly all aspects. Shin-Kai has great shading, a beautiful sheen and performs well on all paper types. I use this ink daily; keeping it in either my Parker Sonnet Great Expectations Secret Blue Shell (Parker has some long names for their pen models) or my Lamy Al-Star Ocean Blue. Both are Medium nibs.


Shading – This ink shades slightly from a lighter dustier blue/black to a dark pool of blue/black

Sheen – This ink has a red sheen, its hard to capture but throw a bit on Tomoe River, Leuchterm or a Rhodia dot pad, and there you go.

Dry Time – 20 Seconds, the dry time on this ink is superb. It dries quick enough to avoid smearing. A faster dry time also means for those who use this ink in a bullet journal, you don’t have to worry about the transference of ink from one page to the next when you turn the page.

Water Resistance – This ink is slightly water resistant, the ink will pull away from the page, however, it does leave behind a light blue line on the page. It is not permanent or completely water resistant.

Here is how this ink compares…

It’s Dusty, but deep, with great shading as well as sheen!

As you can tell, I have a great affection for blue-black ink. I haven’t found one I don’t love yet! From the dusty grey hues to the darker deeper blues they are all beautiful and wonderful.

This is my favorite blue-black. It came on the heels of my Noodler’s 54th Massachusetts fiasco. What I love most about this ink is how consistent it is from page to page. Also, from bottle to bottle. I have used 3 bottles of this ink, and 2 samples, each provided the same color and quality as the others. This is so important! This is always inked in one of my daily carries and is used regularly for personal use such as journaling and also professional settings, or meetings.

What is your favorite Blue-Black ink?

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  • The Economical Penster
    November 12, 2017 at 7:05 am

    My favorite blue-black is a tie between Pilot Blue-Black and Sheaffer Permanent Skrip Blue-Black. Based on your photos, I really need to pick up a sample of Shin-kai! I’m curious to see how it compares with plain ol’ Pilot Blue-Black.

    • Jmaxwell
      December 10, 2017 at 10:55 pm

      I will see if I can pick some up and show it off in a reply comment sometime soon! Thanks for the comment!