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Thread: Come homie, help out the newbie here

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    Junior Member Doraglier's Avatar
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    Default Come homie, help out the newbie here

    Fam, I am a Japanese student. For some time now, I've been looking for a decent pen to write all those 漢字 if you know what I mean. Turns out that regulars pens suck. It ain't just bad, it turns whatever sick Asian script it was supposed to be into some crappy, low-end shitty piece of nightmare. I've already visited all local stores that could possibly deal with fountain pens. Some of them do, but there are problems (of course there are problems). They're all expensive pens branded as "Crown". There's no model name or model number nor any kind of proper identification on these pens, and they also don't sell ink for it. I've checked out their website (here -> http://www.crownbrindes.com.br/), it seems to me that this "Crown" is a national brand, but their website is a mess, lack of information and seemingly shady business made me want to avoid their brand at all costs, which means I'll have to depend on the internet (yeah, great).


    So, basically, please recommend me a great pen to write Japanese script with
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    FPG Donor ♕ Chrissy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Come homie, help out the newbie here

    Lot's of people use Pilot, Sailor or Platinum with EF nibs.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Junior Member Doraglier's Avatar
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    Default Re: Come homie, help out the newbie here

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    Lot's of people use Pilot, Sailor or Platinum with EF nibs.
    Slow down brudda. Just what is this EF nib? (I do know that "nib" is the tip, just so you know)
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    Default Re: Come homie, help out the newbie here

    EF nibs are pens with Extra-fine sized nibs. Japanese (Pilot, Platinum, Sailor) pen nibs write narrower than european (Pelikan, Faber-Castell) pen nibs. For Japanese character writing most use a Japanese fine sized nib, which writes like a European extra-fine sized nib. A Japanese extra-fine nib is hard (scratchy) to write with if you are new to fountain pens. You have to write with very little pressure and make sure the nib tines are in the correct position.

    Example of Pilot Japanese extra fine nib:

    Link: https://www.gouletpens.com/collectio...11884882231339

    I personally use a Pilot Metropolitan with a fine nib at work and it is easy to use and a reliable pen.

    Link: https://www.gouletpens.com/collectio...11884885082155

    Goulet is a reputable company here in the US, as is Vanness, Pen Chalet and Jetpens.

    All the Best.
    Last edited by junglejim; June 22nd, 2019 at 05:40 PM.
    "What are moon-letters?" asked the hobbit full of excitement. He loved maps, as I have told you before; and he also loved runes and letters, and cunning handwriting, though when he wrote himself it was a bit thin and spidery.

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    Senior Member Lady Onogaro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Come homie, help out the newbie here

    You can probably also get Pilot and Sailor fountain pens with EF nibs on Amazon, if that is more convenient to you.
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    Default Re: Come homie, help out the newbie here

    I don't know much about Japanese writing, but from my general experience I would not bother too much about brand. Focus mostly on the nib, like mentioned extra fine and fine tip should work well for most notebooks. If you write larger signs; medium, broad and even double broad are quickly to be considered. The guys I know who learn Japanese or Chinese practice on millimeter paper and often use Pilot Gel roller 0.5 and 0.7, which roughly are in the EF to F range. In my experience, gell rollers are very smooth almost slippery across the paper, and aren't ideal to improve on hand writing. It's not a bad idea to aim for a fountain pen at all. A pencil can be good in this situation, some use felt or brush tip pens, I personally lean towards a fountain pen with a suitable nib.

    Nibs can be very smooth and flow across the paper like it's oiled, others can give a bit more resistance to the paper (often described as feedback). Firm steel nibs can work well and give a very even neat line. Some pens let out more ink than others (a.k.a dry or wet), and needs to be taken into consideration. Gold nibs can be worth considering if you look for specific qualities and know what you like, it's more of an investment. Scratchy nibs can be a horror, many prefer the smoothest nibs available, but like mentioned, don't ignore nibs with a little feed back to the paper, it can help a lot when practicing even finger movements. To find that perfect pen for your purpose you have to try a few to get to know the differences and what you like. Be warned; it easily escalates into a small colletion of pens and ink bottles. Some factors are purely personal, hand size, grip, design, color, feel of material,...

    I have found a bargain priced Chinese pen I like a lot as well as new and vintage pens with or with out gold nibs. Another feature I like is the piston filler type found on many Pelikan and Montblancs. The cartrige and converter types are fine, but there are pens with larger ink capacity.
    Last edited by arrow; June 22nd, 2019 at 07:08 PM.

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    Senior Member SIR's Avatar
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    Cool Re: Come homie, help out the newbie here

    Two suggestions, with very different financial and calligraphic skill/practice investment requirements;

    1. A brush pen - these are relatively very cheap, $10-20, and can be used with various bottled inks; however, they do require some practice to get the basic gist of use, but with their ability to accommodate artistic expression will give the most satisfactory and satisfying results in the long term. Unless you can find a very stiff and fine brush, they will be difficult to write small, handwriting sized characters with.
    Also, look at 'fude de mannen' nibbed pens, which give a very similar result, albeit with a more traditionalish metal nib.

    2. A Sailor speciality nib of the 'Crosspoint' variety - these are big money new, and still relatively expensive even on the used market, but they are as easy or even easier to use than a regular fountain pen and are designed for the writing of oriental script.

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    Default Re: Come homie, help out the newbie here

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    Junior Member Doraglier's Avatar
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    Default Re: Come homie, help out the newbie here

    Quote Originally Posted by arrow View Post
    I don't know much about Japanese writing, but from my general experience I would not bother too much about brand. Focus mostly on the nib, like mentioned extra fine and fine tip should work well for most notebooks. If you write larger signs; medium, broad and even double broad are quickly to be considered. The guys I know who learn Japanese or Chinese practice on millimeter paper and often use Pilot Gel roller 0.5 and 0.7, which roughly are in the EF to F range. In my experience, gell rollers are very smooth almost slippery across the paper, and aren't ideal to improve on hand writing. It's not a bad idea to aim for a fountain pen at all. A pencil can be good in this situation, some use felt or brush tip pens, I personally lean towards a fountain pen with a suitable nib.

    Nibs can be very smooth and flow across the paper like it's oiled, others can give a bit more resistance to the paper (often described as feedback). Firm steel nibs can work well and give a very even neat line. Some pens let out more ink than others (a.k.a dry or wet), and needs to be taken into consideration. Gold nibs can be worth considering if you look for specific qualities and know what you like, it's more of an investment. Scratchy nibs can be a horror, many prefer the smoothest nibs available, but like mentioned, don't ignore nibs with a little feed back to the paper, it can help a lot when practicing even finger movements. To find that perfect pen for your purpose you have to try a few to get to know the differences and what you like. Be warned; it easily escalates into a small colletion of pens and ink bottles. Some factors are purely personal, hand size, grip, design, color, feel of material,...

    I have found a bargain priced Chinese pen I like a lot as well as new and vintage pens with or with out gold nibs. Another feature I like is the piston filler type found on many Pelikan and Montblancs. The cartrige and converter types are fine, but there are pens with larger ink capacity.
    Indeed, they are. I have to rely on these to write anything that doesn't end up half-assed.


    My only concern with ordering these abroad is the 3-month waiting time to receive it from China's stock. I will do some more research on it, but I guess the terrible shipping is unavoidable if I'm to keep the budget from skyrocketing.
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    Senior Member carlos.q's Avatar
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    Default Re: Come homie, help out the newbie here

    Have you checked this Brazilian pen shop?

    https://www.casadascanetas.com.br

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    Doraglier (June 30th, 2019)

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    Junior Member Doraglier's Avatar
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    Question Re: Come homie, help out the newbie here

    Quote Originally Posted by carlos.q View Post
    Have you checked this Brazilian pen shop?

    https://www.casadascanetas.com.br

    Nice one homie!
    I'm just so used to the terrible national market for anything that isn't food and clothing that I didn't even consider looking for a store like that. Looks like you saved the whole day!

    I had already pretty much decided on the Pilot 書くの. The cheapest price I can get on it after the importation fees (Brazil's got one of the highest importation fees on the whole goddam globe) without extra cartridges was 54USD (with shipping). However, now I've taken a look at the national website. Here's what I've found:


    Pens with EF nibs are pretty much absent or out of the price range (I'm talking about 700+USD here). Some few F nibs are available, but the majority is M sized (on Western ratios). They also have lots of "STD nibs", which I presume it must mean the pen only has that only one nib and you can't change it (and they also don't provide you with any other info). This limits me to use the fricking standard stuff. The bestseller affordable pen is the Crown (ugh, why!?) Capricci (or whatever that's pronounced, my Italian is nonexistent) [here's the link to it: https://www.casadascanetas.com.br/pr...-tinteiro/364]. From the few reviews I've found on YouTube (in PT-BR only, even) dating back to 5 years ago, the pen itself is ok but the overall finish, although good looking, rubs off with time. They also said that the pen nib would be somewhat comparable to a Western F nib. This is the only pen I've found (on the budget) that I can use a converter with to free myself from the overpriced cartridges. So, in the end, I can get the pen (Crown Capricci), the converter (100% verified that it is indeed compatible with the pen) and a bottle of ink (Pilot Ink-30, 30ml) for 45USD, with shipping included. I need the pen to write Japanese with, so I'm not entirely sure if the Western F nib is gonna rock, but I believe it should be able to take in all but the overly complex 漢字 (like 鬱病). I'll let you guys call the shot. If you tell me the deal's worth it I'll take it. If not, well... back to research, I guess.



    Took me a while to figure this out, but nibs are called "feathers" in PT-BR, even though they are made out of metal. And then I was like, WTF are those "feathers" the seller's talking about?
    Last edited by Doraglier; June 23rd, 2019 at 01:48 PM.
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    Junior Member Doraglier's Avatar
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    Default Re: Come homie, help out the newbie here

    Oh god, how could you guys let the thread die out on its climax!? I took the deal, just so you know. After some time I'll post a review on the pen, it's not as bad as expected and it performs decently, but the tip really is a little bit too thick to write stuff like 鬱. No regrets so far. My thanks, guys!
    "Death solves all problems - no man, no problem" Joseph Stalin

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    Default Re: Come homie, help out the newbie here

    What you will find with Japanese is that you simply have to write some characters larger in order to make all the strokes legible. It's not strictly necessary to have the finest needlepoint nib you can get, and you will likely still run into problems. It can be a nice extra to write furigana with the nib upside-down, though of course that becomes pointless if you know the reading.

    In the case of trying to write characters all the same size, you simply need to get a feel for how much air some of the simpler kanji really have. It can be tempting to write them compactly since they're so simple.

    Generally what I have seen is the phonetic characters written small, and the kanji written 1.5 or 2x the size. This is a compromise between compactness and legibility.

    I can recommend Remembering the Kanji by Heisig as a great book for learning the characters quickly independent of their readings. I use a pilot coarse nib to make my flash cards.

    Another tip is that pen-ji is not brush calligraphy. You could have just used a mechanical pencil. The characters will still look beautiful if they are written in the right proportions, at the right angles, with the penji version of the hooks. But enjoy your fountain pen I write all the presuming you're a student of Japanese, not a Japanese who happens to be in Brazil lol.
    Last edited by Zou; July 20th, 2019 at 09:44 PM.

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