Nakaya at the HK International Stationery Fair.

So this is what I was up to, really, in HK. I wanted to see a Nakaya table! Other people fly to Tokyo to see Madonna. This is not a strange thing.

I registered as a buyer and waited until the fair opened at 9:30. When I reached the Platinum Pen Co. table, I gawked at the Nakayas on display in one corner of the booth. A man approached me, most likely wondering why I had a silly smile on my face, and he turned out to be Mr. Toshiya Nakata, the president of Nakaya. (Insert fan girl squeal.)

He said, “A Nakaya owner!” I pulled out my Chinkoku and proceeded to tell him about my purchases at Aesthetic Bay, and how much I liked the Sumi technique (only one Nakaya craftsman can do this) and he brought out a long writer model that had the story of Rashomon executed in Sumi. The Ascending Dragon desk pen was also there, and a raised-technique dragon pen rendered in gold and red on black. The humidity in Okinawa means it takes four months for pens in that style to dry. Also on display were a golden maki-e squirrel on a blue body, two siblings of my Piccolo, a spider in gold and silver on a black body with a golden butterfly on the grip, and another spider pen in a multi-layered technique that even to the untrained eye looks like the highest level of craftsmanship.

I also held my first kanshitsu (stone finish) pen, rendered in silver over deep brown. It was a non-standard Piccolo, longer than mine.

Mr. Nakata refused to sell me anything! And I thought, how wonderful. Instead, he got my name and set aside the kanshitsu for me, noting down my nib preference. I brought out my Omas Arco with the modified nib and he compared it with my Nakaya elastic fine, as I was asking if it was possible to achieve the same kind of flexibility with Nakaya nibs. In the process we got inky fingers; I was profusely apologetic (I had forgotten to wipe down my pen after traveling with it loaded).

After one of the most interesting talks I’ve had in ages, I asked him if we could have our picture taken together. (More fangirl action.)

He was very obliging. I left the HK Convention and Exhibition Center with the widest of grins.