The Nakaya Ascending Dragon.

Of course it was one of the happiest days of my life. I knew I wanted another Nakaya in my collection. When I went to Aesthetic Bay, what was in my mind was a decapod. I knew they had those in stock, from my previous trip. Instead, I chose (or perhaps it chose me) the Ascending Dragon, done in aka-tame gin bokashi.

The Ascending Dragon is taken from Ohkyo Maruyama’s art. Aka means red, gin is silver. The silver makes the red appear closer to burgundy. The silver itself shades more towards pewter, depending on the light. Mr. Tan switched my nib to a fine while I gawked at the other pens in his shop, although none to my eye approached the delicate beauty of the Aka-tame gin bokashi dragon. The pen has no clip, which makes perfect sense, as this dragon would not take kindly to metal things in its face.

I have always liked dragons. One of my first I-have-to-have-that-pen moments was when I saw the Danitrio Dragon and Phoenix. It is a pen I still enjoy, and I’m not about to part with it any time soon. Several favorite books have dragons, as I read primarily science fiction and fantasy. The Pern series and R.A. McAvoy’s Tea with the Black Dragon come immediately to mind. That dragon had an opposable thumb, ostensibly so he could drink tea in a civilized fashion. This dragon has three fingers.

Of thick, handmade paper pressed with what looks like silken fibers, the box has a golden tinge. Inside is another box, this time of light, unvarnished wood, hinged on the right side.

The papers inside the box contained the signatures and chops of the Nakaya artisans, a catalog that was more an appetizer, and of course the instruction sheet.

The pen comes with the the standard Nakaya kimono.

The pen itself needs to be seen and touched to be believed.

The dragon’s head rears up on the pen’s cap. The rest of his body undulates downward to the end of the barrel. Around him are described wisps of clouds. In one hand he grips a ball – or is it the sun?

Like most Japanese fine nibs, this writes a very thin line, perfect for crosshatching. I actually find myself using it more for drawing than writing. Of course the first thing I drew was a dragon. It seemed like the right thing to do.

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