My grail list grew considerably shorter once my tastes settled down. I wanted to stick to a dozen pens, give or take a couple, and this resolution has helped keep my wants in check.
I get along best with Japanese nibs and it is no surprise that what I’ve really lusted after comes from the land of sake and shoguns. All of the stuff on my grail list come from Nakaya and the Decapod is number three on that roster of four.
The pen takes its name from the ten flats that comprise its form. The faceted shape is not unique to the Japanese as iconic pens like the Wahl Doric and the Omas Paragon prove. Round shapes are more organic but the geometric silhouette of the Decapod creates an uncommon appeal.
Wajima-nuri urushi finishes are striking in any of the round bodied Nakayas. But only in the Decapod and it’s more flamboyant sibling the Twist, do the tamenuri coatings shine unabashedly. The edges showcase a dramatic shift between underlayer and topcoat. It is a bold expression that is otherwise impossible to achieve on a completely radiused surface.
I originally wanted an aka tamenuri but both Mottishaw and Aesthetic Bay had none in stock. With Matsubara-san in his 80s, I could not expect Nakaya to make delivery quickly. Kuro tamenuri tends to be boring in a Piccolo or Portable Writer but in a Decapod, it is quite elegant. I decided to bag it and the only question requiring an answer was nib choice.
I was hoping to score a BB as it would give me a wide range of regrind options. Sadly, Aesthetic Bay had none but they offered me a Music or Elastic Music instead. I was not sure that I wanted a Music. I was definitely certain that I did not want an Elastic Music.
We dip tested the monotone Music nib and it proved pleasant. Unlike the one I previously owned, this wrote on the narrower side of wide. Downstrokes were closer to 0.9mm and flow was just shy of juicy. Leigh suspects that this is one of the older nibs and it is possible that Watanabe-san, Shinichi Yoshida’s mentor, was the one who finished this tip. And so, credit cards cringed and giddy smiles ensued.
Each grail has a story, a reason that compels one to covet it. In this case the ten facets celebrate the present and look forward to a future.
Ten months. Ten years. Ten lifetimes.