The Nakaya Piccolo in kuro-tamenuri.

If a haiku were reincarnated as a pen, it would be the Nakaya Piccolo. The seminal Nakaya pen has to be the Piccolo in the kuro-tamenuri (blackish red) finish. It is a triumph of aesthetic restraint. It was the first Nakaya I liked, but the one I never bought, until last weekend.

The shape, size and finish of this pen are poetic. Nothing is excessive to its purpose. The many layers of lacquer preserve the pen against the elements, but also grant it sheen and depth, and a warm, comfortable feel in the hand.

I went from wabi-sabi to iki, and settled on shibui. From Wikipedia: “The people of Edo expressed their tastes in using this term to refer to anything from song to fashion to craftsmanship that was beautiful by being understated, or by being precisely what it was meant to be and not elaborated upon.” The art is in concealing the art.