Write away

The season of autumn is given homage through the limited edition Namiki Yukari Fountain Pen that puts the focus on the auspicious Ginkgo trees that can live for millennia

The pen is one of the most useful tools of communication as it was used to sign peace treaties, bank loans, cheques for everyday expenses. These days, we use elec-

tronic means to get these tasks done. These days, the pen is used for more romantic reasons — people still use it to pen their thoughts in personal journals, while some still take the time to write personal notes.

In an op-ed for Forbes, Canidae Pet Foods’s head of people and culture Ka- ren Casey wrote: “Think back to the trip to the mailbox when you found a card mixed in between the myriad of credit card solicitations and catalogues that killed a tree or two; the excitement of receiving a holiday card with a handwritten message or the yellow sticky note placed on your computer screen with a word of thanks. Instant gratification.”

If you know of someone who still writes notes perhaps the perfect gift is the limited-edition Yukari Ginkgo Fountain Pen by luxury Japanese pen maker Nami- ki. Individually hand-crafted by master Japanese artisans, the highly sought-after pen combines artistry with the most advanced technical features, making it a collector’s item. More than just a work of art, Namiki writing instruments are designed to function as the ultimate writing tool that will last a lifetime.

This year’s limited edition Namiki Yukari Fountain Pen with only 300 pieces available worldwide, places the spotlight on the beautiful Ginkgo. The pen pays tribute to autumn with its brilliant gold leaves and ginkgo trees form a part of Japan’s landscape, often seen in Shin- to shrines and Buddhist temples.

The trees are known to survive and can live for millennia, making them auspicious symbols of longevity. As their leaves are fan-shaped, Ginkgo trees also

carry the meaning of increasing prosperity. Over the years, its exquisite and magnificently elegant pattern has made it highly desirable in kimono designs and family crests.

Exquisitely crafted

To make sure the Namiki Yukari Fountain Pen stays true to its inspiration, no detail is overlooked in the creation of the design on the pen barrels. Gold dust is sprinkled all over the pen, and the artwork is then carefully finished using the togidashi (burnished) polishing technique.

Meticulously painted Ginkgo leaves are delicately depicted on the cap and barrel through the hira (flat) Maki-e and Kaki- wari which is a lacquerware technique used to apply gold dust without lacquer to the parts that represent boundary lines, as exemplified by the veins of leaves.

Namiki makes every pen different, for example, the Emperor Chinkin Dragon pen, which features the ancient Japanese craft technique known as chinkin, a very meticulous and time-consuming technique that involves a combination of lacquering and hand engraving. The method was first explored in 1922 by Pilot (the parent company of Namiki) but with the advent of the Second World War, the production of pens ceased. It was only a few years after the end of the war did Pilot resume production, and along with it more innovative techniques and designs such as the use of lacquer.

Namiki is named after its founder Ryosuke Namiki, a mechanical engineer and professor at the Tokyo Merchant Marine College. In Japan, Pilot remains the oldest and largest manufacturer of writing instruments, the first of its pens were launched in Japan in 1918 when the country was opening up to Western influences and was importing European techniques.

All Namiki Maki-e pens are individually hand-crafted by master Japanese artists, combining artistry with the most advanced technical features. The products feature 18K gold or lacquer finish- es, in various styles such as the intricate Yukari collection and the bold Emperor collection. More than just a work of art, Namiki writing instruments are designed to function as the ultimate writing tool and a lifetime companion.

Community efforts

Since Pilot Pen was set up in Singapore in 1984, it has established itself as the leading brand of quality writing instruments. Not only is the brand well-known for easy-to-use writing instruments such as ballpoint pens, gel pens, liquid ink pens and mechanical pencils, it also offers other world-class writing equipment such as whiteboards, chalkless boards and its top-of-the-line fountain pens.

Over time, the brand took an active approach in community efforts, especially towards students in Singapore. In 1994, Pilot began supporting schools’ badminton tournaments, eventually culminating in the “Pilot Pen Cup”. This annual badminton competition sees Pilot working closely with the Ministry of Education to cultivate young sports talents in the student community until 2012. Pilot even partnered with the Singapore Badminton Association in 2013 to continue its tradition of bringing the “Pilot Pen Cup” to youths.

Continuing its approach in community efforts, Pilot also linked with Singapore Management University (SMU) for the inaugural Pilot Pen Community Champion Award from 2014 to 2021. The award aims to recognise outstand- ing contributions and dedication of SMU students in community service with six awards awarded annually to students.

The Namiki Yukari Ginkgo Fountain Pen is exquisitely presented in a wooden gift box that comes complete with a bottle of ink. It will be available in limited quantities at Namiki dealers on April 15 at:

Aesthetic Bay

No. 2 Orchard Turn #04-14, ION Orchard
Singapore 238801


Tel: +65 6735 6788



Elephant & Coral

333A Orchard Road #03-03 Mandarin Gallery Singapore 238897


Tel: +65 6736-1322


Fook Hing Trading Co

#01-23, 231 Bain Street Bras Basah Complex Singapore 180231


Tel: +65 6337 3045