Another #pendelight post this week, this time it is about the Danitrio YOK-3 Jurojin fountain pen.
I was recommended by Arthur (House of Pens) to take pictures of this wonderful looking pen, the Danitrio YOK-3 Jurojin fountain pen of their Kyokuchi (Zenith) Collection. I have a personal problem where I tend to only look at pens especially when they are exceptionally intricate-looking, and feel wowed by them, and forget to take pictures to share here on my blog. Not so anymore, and you’ll probably get a chance to see more beautiful pens in future posts to come!
The Danitrio YOK pens are made using Japanese ebonite for the cap and body, with 18K gold nibs (#50 size, which is huge). In contrast to the body of the pen, the nib is rather plain-looking. I suppose it is to draw attention away from the nib and towards the masterpieces that are hand-painted onto the pen body instead.
“Yokozuna” in Japanese Sumo wrestling refers to the highest rank a Sumo wrestler can achieve. For fountain pens, it refers to the huge pens that Danitrio produces, each with a lot of space for the maki-e artists to work on to implement their art pieces. These pens are surely the top-of-the-line pens in Danitrio’s range.
The original painting of Jurojin was created by Soga Shohaku (1730-1781), who was a Japanese painter from the Edo period. It was then drawn on this pen in the style of Kosetsu, the artist behind the masterpiece.
Jurojin is the god of longevity in Japanese culture and fables, and the picture depicts him lifting a turtle from the water. In East Asian cultures, turtles are also a sign of long life due to the ripe old age they can grow to. In the picture, there are other animals such as a white deer and a crane, which are animals that are symbolic in Japanese culture as well. While the crane symbolizes happiness and eternal youth, it represents a life span of a thousand years, and the turtle represents ten thousand years. The white deer represents a divine messenger to the gods in Shinto, an ethnic Japanese religion.
The plants depicted include the pine tree, bamboo, and plum tree, which also have important symbolism in Japanese culture as the “three friends of winter”. The pine (matsu) also symbolises longevity, the bamboo (take) signifies prosperity, and the plum (ume) is a protection against evil and misfortunes. Together, the three friends of winter are so called as they retain their hardiness throughout winter.
I love learning about these beautiful Japanese pens and the meaning and culture behind all the symbolic elements in each picture. I hope you enjoyed the post too!