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Thread: All in the Family: Platinum Izumo and Nakaya Portable Writer

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    Default All in the Family: Platinum Izumo and Nakaya Portable Writer

    As most of you likely already know, both the Platinum and Nakaya fountain pen companies were started by the Nakata family and still run by them. What I have been told is that the employees of Nakaya are all older employees retired from Platinum. It is a slightly different situation than Pilot/Namaki (where the same pen can be marketed under either name depending on where it is sold) and there does not seem to be the same product sold as both a Platinum and Nakaya fountain pen.

    Today I'll try to review three pens, two Platinum Izumo compared to a Nakaya Cigar Portable Writer (Writer just means it has a clip).

    As usual, let's get the boring details out of the way.


    Boring Detail:



    The first thing to notice is that the dimensions of the two Izumos are not identical. That's because each body is hand turned (true of Nakaya pens too) and so while very similar, no two will be exactly the same.

    The Izumo Kuro is all black urushi over ebonite while the Izumo Sora is a green undercoating. (I know, green should be midori but in this case it 'taint) The Nakaya Aka-tamenuri is a dark red with more red showing through the Kuro overcoating.

    Izumo Kurotame on left, Nakaya Aka-tamenuri in center, Izumo Soratamenuri on right.

    They each came with a nice silk kimono to keep them comfy when not in my pocket.



    All three are cartridge/converter pens BUT Platinum unlike Pilot and Sailor (the other two of the big three Japanese fountain pen makers) also offers an adapter that allows the owner to use standard international cartridges and converter. There is also a Maki-e version of their converter with snowflakes, goldfish, tadpoles, maple leaves or cherry blossoms.





    Each of the pens has a slightly different nib, the Izumo Kuro has a "B" Platinum President 18K nib, the Soratamenuri has a "M" nib and the Nakaya Portable has a "M" nib customized by John Mottishaw to a full width cursive italic. The Nakaya nib is based on the Platinum #3776 14K nib and marked Nakata.



    The Izumo Kuro is as mentioned above simply all black but a black deep enough to fall into.






    The Izumo Soratamenuri is very similar but with a green base coat that shows through the Kuro at edges and that will gradually emerge over time as the over layer becomes increasingly transparent.










    The Nakaya Portable Aka-tamenuri is simply a jewel.





    I don't post any of them (not even sure they would post) but all three are long enough to use unposted. The Nakaya is significantly lighter than the Izumos and seem far thinner walled as well.

    So which do I like best? The Izumo Kuro tends to get slightly more pocket time than the other two, but not by much. All three nibs are a joy to use and moderately wet, just as I like but the "B" nib really is wondrous. The Izumos feel like they can withstand anything while the Nakaya, particularly the cap, gives an impression of delicacy and encourages me to use extra care.
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    Junior Member JIGM's Avatar
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    Default Re: All in the Family: Platinum Izumo and Nakaya Portable Writer

    Congratulations. Pretty nice pens, and also nice review. Thanks for sharing.

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    Default Re: All in the Family: Platinum Izumo and Nakaya Portable Writer

    Beautiful pens... but weirdly, what I'm most fixated on is the goldfish convertor. Did you try filling it?

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    Default Re: All in the Family: Platinum Izumo and Nakaya Portable Writer

    Quote Originally Posted by katherine View Post
    Beautiful pens... but weirdly, what I'm most fixated on is the goldfish convertor. Did you try filling it?
    It's been filled a couple times and looks really neat with a lighter blue ink like Kon-Peki or Ama-Iro. Of course, since no one ever sees the goldfish it's another of those little private jokes that I giggle over at the most inappropriate times.
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    Default Re: All in the Family: Platinum Izumo and Nakaya Portable Writer

    Beautiful pens, jar. I too, love the goldfish converter....A special hidden secret

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    Default Re: All in the Family: Platinum Izumo and Nakaya Portable Writer

    Is it just me or there really aren't any line variations on the Medium Cursive Italic nib on the Nakaya?
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    Default Re: All in the Family: Platinum Izumo and Nakaya Portable Writer

    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post
    Is it just me or there really aren't any line variations on the Medium Cursive Italic nib on the Nakaya?
    Just you. Horizontal lines are slimmer than vertical.
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    Default Re: All in the Family: Platinum Izumo and Nakaya Portable Writer

    Quote Originally Posted by jar View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post
    Is it just me or there really aren't any line variations on the Medium Cursive Italic nib on the Nakaya?
    Just you. Horizontal lines are slimmer than vertical.
    I suppose.
    Not distinctive enough for me.
    Thanks for helping me to rule out that particular nib choice.
    - Will
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    Default Re: All in the Family: Platinum Izumo and Nakaya Portable Writer

    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jar View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post
    Is it just me or there really aren't any line variations on the Medium Cursive Italic nib on the Nakaya?
    Just you. Horizontal lines are slimmer than vertical.
    I suppose.
    Not distinctive enough for me.
    Thanks for helping me to rule out that particular nib choice.
    It's a Japanese medium; not much material there to start with. At the top of the page you can see the #3776 Music nib that might better suit you and that is available from both Platinum and Nakaya.
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    Default Re: All in the Family: Platinum Izumo and Nakaya Portable Writer

    Sorry to revive a year old post... Wondering why there aren't more reviews and / or threads in general on the Izumo. The Nakaya seems to be very popular but not the Izumo. Sharing much of their DNA and being of similar prices (Piccolo, Portable, Neo, etc.) I figured that more people would be posting about them.

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    Default Re: All in the Family: Platinum Izumo and Nakaya Portable Writer

    Quote Originally Posted by Spoonage View Post
    Sorry to revive a year old post... Wondering why there aren't more reviews and / or threads in general on the Izumo. The Nakaya seems to be very popular but not the Izumo. Sharing much of their DNA and being of similar prices (Piccolo, Portable, Neo, etc.) I figured that more people would be posting about them.
    I've wondered the same thing. The Izumo is even carried by at least one licensed distributor here in the US, so it's available through a few well-known retailers. Leaving out Nakaya's bespoke offerings, the Izumo line does seem to be less popular than the similarly priced Nakaya models/finishes.

    The Izumo is a pretty dang large pen the Tagayasan even more so than the ebonite/urushi models. Maybe that just doesn't appeal to as broad an audience as a more moderately sized Nakaya model would.

    There's also the fact that Nakaya pens feature the well-known and highly regarded #3776 style nib, which are known to accommodate modification well. It's the same nib found in the very popular #3776 Century line, which is a stepping stone for many who are getting into pen collecting these days. The Izumo has its nib in common with the Platinum President, which is another pen that I feel doesn't have the Western market share befitting its quality and price point. The 18K nib is very nice in its own right, but not many seem to be familiar with it.

    My Izumo in biwatame was my first urushi pen. It's one of the more comfortable writers in my arsenal. I just wish it didn't have that metal trim ring at the lip of the cap I always fill the converter directly to avoid submerging that metal ring in ink. I've seen enough old Pelikans to know where that road leads.

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    Default Re: All in the Family: Platinum Izumo and Nakaya Portable Writer

    Quote Originally Posted by TRPotato View Post
    I just wish it didn't have that metal trim ring at the lip of the cap I always fill the converter directly to avoid submerging that metal ring in ink. I've seen enough old Pelikans to know where that road leads.
    The solution to that issue is to simply sweep the nib and section under running water after filling and then wipe with your cloth or tissue.
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    Default Re: All in the Family: Platinum Izumo and Nakaya Portable Writer

    Quote Originally Posted by jar View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TRPotato View Post
    I just wish it didn't have that metal trim ring at the lip of the cap I always fill the converter directly to avoid submerging that metal ring in ink. I've seen enough old Pelikans to know where that road leads.
    The solution to that issue is to simply sweep the nib and section under running water after filling and then wipe with your cloth or tissue.
    Intellectually, I know that it's only after years and years of heavy abuse or neglect that the plating will even start to show signs of corrosion, and that even basic maintenance will keep the ring shiny and intact. But you try reasoning with the part of my brain responsible for the impulse to coddle my favorite pens, see how far you get

    And since I neglected to say so earlier, thanks for this review. I especially enjoyed the detailed body measurements of each pen. The variance between handmade pens of the same model really gives each specimen character. No two pens are exactly alike. Seeing that quantified brings me satisfaction, somehow.

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    Default Re: All in the Family: Platinum Izumo and Nakaya Portable Writer

    Quote Originally Posted by TRPotato View Post
    And since I neglected to say so earlier, thanks for this review. I especially enjoyed the detailed body measurements of each pen. The variance between handmade pens of the same model really gives each specimen character. No two pens are exactly alike. Seeing that quantified brings me satisfaction, somehow.
    I was curious to see if that variation actually held true across a larger sample so I measured a few more of my pens to check and here is an updated table.



    And another sample:

    Last edited by jar; February 9th, 2017 at 07:22 AM. Reason: add another table
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    Default Re: All in the Family: Platinum Izumo and Nakaya Portable Writer

    Thanks for the review! I'm waiting for a Izumo Soratame in the mail. The photo of mine seems to have an ebonite thread. Does that reveal anything about the age of the pen?

    The wait is killing me...

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    Default Re: All in the Family: Platinum Izumo and Nakaya Portable Writer

    Quote Originally Posted by SendaiNY View Post
    Thanks for the review! I'm waiting for a Izumo Soratame in the mail. The photo of mine seems to have an ebonite thread. Does that reveal anything about the age of the pen?

    The wait is killing me...
    Can't tell without pictures but most likely black metal threads.
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    Default Re: All in the Family: Platinum Izumo and Nakaya Portable Writer

    Quote Originally Posted by jar View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SendaiNY View Post
    Thanks for the review! I'm waiting for a Izumo Soratame in the mail. The photo of mine seems to have an ebonite thread. Does that reveal anything about the age of the pen?

    The wait is killing me...
    Can't tell without pictures but most likely black metal threads.
    IMG_8511.JPG


    The Biwatame has ebonite threads.
    The Soratame has metal threads.

    What does that say about the age of either pen?

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    Default Re: All in the Family: Platinum Izumo and Nakaya Portable Writer

    Look inside the body and you will see that the threads are an insert. It's the same metal thread used on the more recent Nakayas.
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    Default Re: All in the Family: Platinum Izumo and Nakaya Portable Writer

    Ok. INSIDE the pen. Thanks!

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