ShiZen Sakura's Reflection on Ranga M4C Fountain Pen


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 100% Genuine Urushi

 Contains the Maki-E Red Seal (Highest Quality of Maki-E Art)

 Hand-painted by highly-trained Japanese Artisans

Sakura cherry blossoms, a flower that holds deep meaning and symbolism in Japan, is a big part of Japanese culture. Not only is it celebrated annually at the start of the spring season through Hanami (flower viewing) and festivals, it is often found incorporated in various facets including Japanese stories, songs, and artwork. Sakura is a symbol of renewal and the ephemeral nature of life, a reminder to cherish every moment before they come to a close.

Keisuke-san expresses his love for sakura in this masterpiece where his maki-e emphasizes the beauty of the petals and its fleeting nature of the petals as they fall. The pen also depicts a river stream with water reflections of the sakura, symbolizing the importance of not only appreciating every moment but also the importance of reflecting on these moments in life. 

Yakumono-nuri technique is used on the river stream where the maki-e artwork is applied as one of the earlier base layers followed by suki-urushi (clear coat).

Taka-maki-e technique (raised design) is applied on the tree branches and sakura of which some pedals incorporate a touch of abalone laid one-by-one to subtly add character to the flowers.

About Ranga M4C Pen Body and Filling System:

This pen was produced in partnership with Ranga Pens. Urushi lacquer is applied over a solidly constructed handmade Ranga model 4C ebonite pen body, including the threads.

Pen comes with an international pen converter but pen barrel chamber can also be filled eye dropper style (eye dropper does not come with pen).

 Nib Details:

This pen is furnished with a ShiZen 18k Gold, two-toned #6 nib, medium tip (currently ShiZen only offers one size: Medium)

The logo depicts an enso circle around a bonsai tree. Both of these illustrations have connections to Zen Buddhism. Enso circle represents a tranquil meditative state where one's mind is able to be emptied so that they can exercise immense creativity. Bonsai trees are commonly grown in Japan as they are perceived as living things that require discipline to care for them -- they also serve as harmony between nature and human-beings. 

 Technical Specification:

Cap Length 71 mm (2.8")
Cap Diameter 16 mm (0.63")
Section Diameter 11 mm (0.43")
Barrel Length 114 mm (4.5")
Barrel Diameter 16 mm (0.63")
Pen Length (Closed) 152.4 mm (6")
Pen Length (Posted) Do not post cap
Weight 29 g (1.02 oz)
Weight (w/ink) 30 g (1.06 oz)
Filling System Cartridge/Converter/Eyedropper

 About the Artisan:

Maki-e artisan Keisuke Seki lacquered this pen. Born in 1978, he was raised in Tsu City, Mie Prefecture and grew up with a love of drawing. As a child, his mother had told him that he would make a good maki-e artisan. His mother's words inspired him into becoming a maki-e artisan later in life. After graduating high school, he entered Kyoto Traditional Crafts College in Kyoto and studied lacquer and maki-e for 2 years. He later applied and was accepted to be an apprentice under Yutaro Shimode, a graduate school professor and one of Japan's leading maki-e artisans who was known for restoring maki-e at a very prestigious shrine Ise Jingu and made lacquered products for the emperor and his wife as well as state guests. After training with Yutaro for 8 years, he became independent and took over his family business.  He has lacquered various objects such as Buddhist altars, temple boxes, incense containers, sword sheaths, and tea ceremony items. He has also added to his arsenal other objects such as glasses, accessories, jewelry, and pearls. He is inspired by nature, inorganic objects, imaginary creatures, and hints of human interaction. He has won numerous awards in technical competitions sponsored by Kyoto Batsugu Cooperative Association. He has also obtained certification as a certified craftsman of kyomono and has been successful at launching a traditional craft accessories brand which has received high acclaim in various circles.