Pilot Pen Company

Pilot Iroshizuku Take Sumi Ink Review

Pilot Iroshizuku Take Sumi Ink: As it is well know, Pilot Iroshizuku ink is an expensive option when it comes to ink purchases. Although Iroshizuku inks come in a litany of many wonderful colors, named after the Japanese culture and Japan’s own beauty and nature, Take Sumi some would imagine is just a another black ink, and not worthy of the Irozhizuku name and price. This could not be further from the truth.

Pilot Iroshizuku Take Sumi ink, like all other Namiki Iroshizuku inks flow well, works easily in most fountain pens, is an easy to clean water based dye ink. Where Take Sumi differentiates itself from other black fountain pen inks is in its dark rich opaque color. Some blacks have a green hue, or lighter grey in color. Take Sumi ink, also known as Bamboo Charcoal, is one of the best true black inks on the market along with Pelikan Edelstein Onyx, Noodlers Ink in Black, and Aurora Ink in Black.

Pilot Iroshizuku Take Sumi Ink

Pilot Iroshizuku Take Sumi Ink

Please note the following characteristics we found when using Take Sumi ink during this review:

Testing Factors

We used Rhodia Bloc N. 18 paper with a J. Herbin Glass Dip Pen during this review. The dip pen has an extra fine tip.

Bottle Sizes

We absolutely love the Iroshizuku bottle, which is display quality. The ink is set in a beautiful weighted glass 50 ml. bottle, with an internal dip built into the bottle allowing for gathering up all those last drops of ink. Take Sumi is also available in one of the few Namiki Iroshizuku 3 pack ink  in the smaller 15 ml. glass bottle. However, you must choose the 3 pack set with Take Sumi include, as all 3 packs do not include this popular Iroshizuku black ink.


Yes, Pilot Iroshizuku ink is expensive, at the highest range of luxury inks and retails for $35.00 for the 50 ml. bottle and $40.00 for the three 15 ml. bottle set. If you are looking for similar but cheaper true black ink, look into Aurora Black or Noodler’s Black ink.

Dry Time

Sometimes a bottle of ink is all about its dry time. Having a dry time in the 5-10 second range, which is not the quickest drying ink, will make it a user friendly everyday ink that can be used in an office setting. Take Sumi meets that characteristic, with a dry time that we experienced between 7-10 second.

Bleed Through

Very slight bleeding was experienced with the dip pen, after it was first dipped on the wettest lines. Normal fountain pen use, on Rhodia paper, should not produce any bleeding.


There was absolutely no feathering experienced using Take Sumi with a dip pen on Rhodia paper.

Water Test

Take Sumi is not waterproof or even water resistant. During the water test, where we applied a soaking cotton swab over ink sample lines after a 3 minute dry time produced significant color smearing and some feathering.


Pilot Iroshizuku Take Sumi did not produce any noticeable shading, which is good for a true black ink.

Conclusion about the Pilot Iroshizuku Take Sumi Ink

Pilot Iroshizuku ink is not for the faint of “wallet” but is a luxury fountain pen ink, thus a luxury price is attached. Take Sumi has many wonderful characteristics, being easy to clean, smooth flowing, quick dry, super opaque black color, which makes it a definite option for those who want a super dark non-water proof black ink. Definitely worth the cost. If you have never tried the Pilot Iroshizuku Take Sumi Ink pick one up today!

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Caffeinated Falcon
4 years ago

Am I the only one that is experiencing bleeding? Don’t get me wrong, the ink is black like my soul but bleeds like my heart. I’ve ran the ink through 2 Montegrappa’s, M nib (Grapps and Revolver) on various notebooks: Moleskine daily planner, Stalogy 365 & Kunisawa and all have shown excessive bleed through.