Always a thrill to receive a new issue of Japan’s stylish magazine for stationery goods, Shumi no bungu bako, or Stationery Hobby Box. The new issue, volume 18 was published in Tokyo on December 20 and a faithful friend immediately posted a shiny ink-scented copy off to me in Florida. True with each issue, the magazine is filled with articles and lush advertisements across the entire spectrum of pens, ink, paper and related products. Always a lot to read and see, but the main articles this time focus on the depth and variety of nibs. There are twelve different perspectives on nib types and shaping from pen makers and nib specialists. Gratifying to see that one of the experts consulted is Moriyama Nobuhiko, who crafted the nibs on three of my own fountain pens.
Seems like Sailor Jentle Ink always has a few new inks to introduce in these quarterly issues, and the December number is no different. Six new colors are offered and are shown in the second photograph on the right. One is a dark green called EPINAR, which Sailor likens to spinach; GRENATE is a deep red related to the color of pomegranate; ULTRA MARINE a purplish blue that Sailor sees as ocean blue; APRICOT is another bright orange in the line of Edelstein Mandarin; the other blue they call SKY HIGH and from the magazine sample appears to resemble anything but the blue of the sky; the pink called PECHE is not peachy at all, but a rather ordinary pink.
Montblanc has at last come out with something to replace the discontinued Racing Green. The third photo shows the new IRISH GREEN alongside the old Racing Green on the left. The ad assures readers that this new green is now available in Japan, but it will require a Monday phone call to the Millennium Montblanc store in Orlando to see if this ink has reached the US.
The bottom photo all-a-jumble with pencils, pens, clips, erasers and a dozen other things is a shot inside a small, popular stationery store called Traveler’s Stationery in Kichijôji, a area of western Tokyo. I include the photo only because it impressed me as an especially good composition that holds the eye.
Stationery Hobby Box is a thick magazine that always draws me back again and again to linger over the wealth of photos and information. Older issues alway serve as an excellent source of reference for fountain pen enthusiasts.