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Pilot Iroshizuku “Kon-Peki” (blue): Ink Review

On Scrively's Ink Reviews - Background Information (click to expand)

Pilot Iroshizuku “Kon-Peki”: a very solid blue ink

Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-Peki (blue)

Ink name: Pilot Iroshizuku “kon-peki”
Unit capacity: 50 ml (glas flacon)
Price: ca. 20 €
Price per ml: ca. 0,40 € 

  Leuchtturm 1917 Standard copy paper
Color  solid, deep cerulean blue with a hint of green  solid blue with a hint of green – much less intense color than on better paper, though
Saturation  high  high
Shading  yes, but pretty subtle  some
Feathering  none at all  very, very little
Bleed-through  nope  a little on the 2nd pass
Wetness  moderate  moderate
Drying time  around 15 sec. (though this was a Pelikan M-nib, so with an F it should be about 2 sec. faster at least)  5 sec.
Smudging when dry  yes  hardly, but can happen when you put a lot (and I mean “a lot”) of effort into it
Regular smear test  fine  okay
Left-page smear test  okay, too  okay

Handwritten review on Leuchtturm 1917 paper
(scanned @600 dpi with Doxie Flip – click image to enlarge on Flickr)

Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-Peki (blue)

Handwritten review on standard photocopying paper
(scanned @600 dpi with Doxie Flip – click image to enlarge on Flickr)

Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-Peki (blue)

There are very many people out there that absolutely adore the Iroshizuku “kon-peki”. Am I one of them? Well, yes and no. For the no, it just isn’t my color – but that is not the ink’s fault, of course.  For the yes, it is definitely a high quality ink with great characteristics.

As for the color, “kon-peki” is a really nice blue with a hint of green in it. It does shade, but not in an extreme way. I can imagine that this is exactly why so many people like it. Because it is “just there”. The color is interesting enough – not too poppy, and not too dull. It might be a bit too greenish for an official ink, but I guess that is a matter of taste. It is certainly highly usable as an everyday ink.

What needs to be said, I think, is that the ink’s characteristics, as with many inks, is very dependent on the paper used. With the Iroshizuku “kon-peki”, the ink pretty much totally flattens out on standard paper, making the ink much less interesting. It really only shines on good paper. Having that said, and considering the rather premium price range, I would definitely not recommend to use the ink for writing the grocery list on wrapping paper. It is an ink that really needs to be used on a better quality paper.

Pricewise, the Iroshizuku inks are premium inks and range – per milliliter – in about the same level as J. Herbin inks in Europe do. Though the latter are cheaper outside of Europe.

As for its ‘leftyness’, “kon-peki” is very much okay. On standard paper absolutely no problem, even with a Pelikan Medium nib. On less absorbent paper like the Leuchtturm above, it is still very usable. With a finer nib one will be able to bring down the drying time considerably, but even with an M-nib it is okay. When writing ‘normally’, there is no problem with “kon-peki” on good paper. However, when deliberately trying to smudge the dry ink with a finger, it is possible. But not from just resting the palm on the ink for a little while.

Lefty approved? Yup!


I hope this was helpful – feel free to check out my other ink reviews as well.


  1. If you want shading with this ink, try Clairfontaine or Rhodia paper.
    Though if that would be Lefty approved I don’t know. I think it takes a bit longer on those papers, though that might only be my nib, which writes very wet.

    • Scrively Scrively

      Hi Nadine! Yeah, I agree. Those sorts of paper or broader nibs would certainly help a great deal. The problem then, as you rightly said, is the lefty-issue. Anyway, I re-trained a little to underwriting, so I could work with those. But then again, Kon-Peki is just not really my cup of tea color-wise, I guess. But I do know that many people really love this ink.

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