Nakaya and Namiki.

There were three contenders for my affection in Aesthetic Bay last Sunday, all by Nakaya: a kuro-tamenuri Decapod, a cherry blossom Sumi, and a Piccolo with clip in arai-shu. The Piccolo won. It is the longer Piccolo, commissioned by Aesthetic Bay from Nakaya, because several of their customers liked how the Piccolo looked but were uncomfortable writing with such a petite pen.

Nakaya Piccolo in Arai-shu

According to the Nakaya website, “arai” means washed, or faded. Arai-shu is faded red. I have to admit it was the color that won me over. I have yet to find an orange ink to match this delicious finish. In the meantime, I am using Private Reserve Orange Crush, which for some reason is not orange but a dirty yellow. (It is possible that this is ink gone bad.) I think Caran d’Ache Saffron would be better. This new Piccolo has an extra-fine nib. Beside my original Piccolo, it looks like a Tuba.

Nakaya Piccolos

Who knew there could be so much variation amongst fine nibs? Here are the three nibs on my Nakayas: regular extra-fine, elastic fine, elastic super extra-fine.

Nakaya nibs

On a side trip to Elephant & Coral, after a lively merienda with the gorgeous Itsy, I decided on a Namiki maki-e. One of the women from the Floating World found her way to this pen, and several cherry blossoms followed in her wake.