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Review: Kyo No Oto Nurebairo

It is a luxurious Shogun (Japanese Military General) color – a gorgeous blue black that dictates your attention, almost like a Shogun giving you the marching orders. Or a James Bond for that matter –impeccable in a suit, but always a surprise well-hidden underneath.

As some of you may know, the Kyo No Oto colors makes strong references to traditional Japanese colors that dates back to as far as the Heian Era more than a thousand years ago. This blue-black ink reminds me of the robes worn by men of business back in the days – official, attention-grabbing, yet law-abiding. I find it a good blend of black and blue – it goes on mostly black, unless viewed under strong light. Wears off only slightly, but it starts to show hints of a midnight blue (Prussian blue).

I like it for an everyday ink, and it shows rather consistently regardless of white or beige paper. The sheen is present on my swab, but it is not too loud with just the right amount to give variation.

For those of you who love your black inks, but feel like betraying your blacks for just a short while, I would consider the Nurebairo. I do not assume that people who like black inks will automatically like blue-blacks, but this ink is a great way to explore.

All in all, a very sophisticated ink, that exudes character whilst looking “mainstream”.

Characters that the color reminds me of:

Ninjas, James Bond, Spies, Shoguns (Japanese generals)

Things to try on your own:

Try this in a flex nib fountain pen to see more color variation. The Lamy Joy or the Kaweco Calligraphy pen also works well with this ink.

What I used:

Kaweco Sport, Broad Nib

Paper: Muji notecard, Bestform notecards


(Scale of 1 to 5)

Dry time ★★★☆☆ (1=slow, 5=fast)
Flow ★★★★☆ (1=dry, 5=wet)
Shading ★★★★★ (1=low, 5=high)


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