Pilot Namiki Pen company

Pilot Iroshizuku Tsukushi Ink Review

Pilot Iroshizuku Tsukushi ink, which translates to “horsetail” in English, is a fabulous brown colored ink that lives up to its Iroshizuku name. Pilot Iroshizuku ink, known for being a top notch high quality ink product has produced 24 color options, Tsukushi being one of the few brown colors. Tsukushi ink is a dark brown, that looks almost black in fine written lines, but is a beautiful brown color when using a broad or italic nib and when swabbing. Pilot Tsukushi is a pleasing color that may be used as an everyday color ink. As with all Iroshizuku inks, Tsukushi is easy to clean and an easy flowing fountain pen ink.

Pilot Iroshizuku Tsukushi Ink

Pilot Iroshizuku Tsukushi Ink

While testing Pilot Iroshizuku Tsukushi ink, we noticed the following characteristics:

Testing Factors

We used Rhodia bloc paper with a glass dip pen made by J. Herbin, which is comparable to an extra fine nib.

Bottle Sizes

The 50 ml glass Pilot Namiki Iroshizuku ink bottle is probably the most beautiful ink bottle on the market today, Pelikan Edelstein ink bottles run a close second. This work of art, ink well quality standard ink bottle comes in a medium sized 50 ml. size, is heavy, and has an internal dipped reservoir which allows the user to grab those last few drops of ink, while being aesthetically pleasing to look at.


Pilot Namiki Iroshizuku ink is a luxury ink product, retailing for $35.00 per 50 ml. bottle. You are paying for the Iroshizuku brand, the fabulous glass bottle, and some really fantastic ink, so the price usually is not an issue for those who have previously used Pilot Iroshizuku inks before.

Dry Time

One of the fantastic characteristics of Pilot Iroshizuku ink is its quick dry time. We experienced a 5 second dry time using Tsukushi ink during this review. Other Iroshizuku inks produced a similar or even quicker dry time. Again, we used the glass dip pen with its fine to extra fine nib, so while using a larger nib you may experience a longer dry time.

Bleed Through

We only experienced slight bleeding and only on the wettest lines using the completely saturated cotton swab. Normal use produced no bleeding at all.


We experienced no feathering using Rhodia paper and the J. Herbin Dip Pen. The ink lines are clear and distinct.

Water Test

All Pilot Iroshizuku inks are water-based and thus do not stand up well under are water test, where we run a soaking wet cotton swab over ink samples after letting them dry for 3 minutes. The ink lines feathered somewhat and there is significant color smearing. However, the lines continued to be distinct and as the feathering was minimal.


Tsukushi ink by Iroshizuku has nice color shading and variation. From the very dark wet brown lines to the light brown hues of the dryer thin lines. Although we used an extra fine nib for this review, you should experience substantial shading using a stub or italic nib.

Conclusion about the Pilot Iroshizuku Tsukushi Ink

Each Pilot Iroshizuku ink we have reviewed is similar in its characteristics. Fabulous flow, a little bit of ink goes a long way, quick drying, but definitely a luxury ink in its retail pricing. The ink bottle is a strong point as is the bold colors the Iroshizuku inks have, including this rich brown Iroshizuku ink color, Tsukushi(Horsetail). Enjoy!