Ink Review: Iroshizuku Yama-budo

Iroshizuku Yama-budo Ink Review // Writing AbbyINTRODUCTION:

Most, if not all, of the inks in Pilot’s Iroshizuku line are expensive stuff. They sell for, at minimum, twenty-five dollars. That’s a lot of money to spend for ink, let alone my teenage budget. So, before I shelled out that kind of dough, I thought it best to purchase a sample and see if they’re really all that and a bag of chips.

This review will examine the qualities of Yama-budo (Wild Mountain Grapes).


~Flow: Good

Yama-budo works well with my Safari. It doesn’t drip all over the paper, nor does my pen’s tines leave marks in the paper because the ink won’t leave the feed.

Iroshizuku Yama-budo ink sample

But, after I filled my pen with it for the first time, Yama-budo got everywhere. It crept onto the nib with a vengeance, and the cap of my pen was pretty much graffiti-ed with purple. Thankfully, this ink is most definitely not waterproof, and it came off with just a little H2O.

~Lubrication: Excellent

This ink makes even an introductory Lamy nib write smoothly, on a consistent basis. I think that says it all.

~Shading: Excellent

ShadingSketchyama-budo Yama-budo has quite a beautiful shading range. It can go from a medium purple to a dark, almost blackish, purple. It’s quite beautiful, and extremely prevalent in down-strokes.

~Saturation: Excellent

Like all Iroshizuku inks, Yama-budo is highly saturated. So much so that it temporarily stained the feed on my Safari. It washed off with just a little water, so it’s nothing to be concerned about.

~Feathering: Good

Feathering is only visible when using extremely thin, cheap paper.

~Bleed-through: Good

Bleed-through only happens when using thin, cheap paper. However, I would like to add that if you have any sort of liquid near your desk or wherever you write, proceed with caution. If you spill it, or even if a little condensation from the glass drips onto the paper — you’re doomed. The liquid will seep through the paper, get a hold of the ink, and you’ll find little specks of it for pages.

~Show-through: Good

This ink will show-through on cheap papers, however, it’s not much of an issue as it doesn’t affect the writing experience.

~Dry Time: Excellent

In my cheap notebook, dry time is less than five seconds. But, a more expensive notebook increases dry time to around 15 seconds.


Here’s a (really bad) sample of cursive writing. This is where Yama-budo really shines. When you slow your writing down, more of the ink flows onto the paper, and the letters become a gorgeous dark purple.


Another example of the deep purple that is Yama-budo.


Here’s a close-up of some printed writing. You can see some of the shading here.



This is an excellent ink, worthy of its reputation in the FP community. I love the color, and everything that its capable of. Even though this ink is not waterproof, I enjoy writing with it. It’s a great ink to write anything with. I love practicing handwriting with it.

I hesitate to encourage artists into buying this ink, due to its non-waterproof status. I cannot say this enough, this ink is not waterproof. At all. I recommend this ink those who use their fountain pens for writing purposes, or in a pen dedicated to writing.

4-star Review for Pilot's Iroshizuku Yama-budo ink.

Have you tried Iroshizuku Yama-budo? What do you think?


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