Sailor’s Nagahara Senior passes away aged 83

The Sailor Pen Company of Japan has announced the unfortunate passing of Nobuyoshi Nagahara, the renown master craftsman and specialty nib maker. The news comes just 4 years after Nagahara announced his retirement and Sailor commemorated its 100th Anniversary.

Photo: Sailor Pen Company

In a joint statement released yesterday by the company together with ITOYA America, it was confirmed that the man affectionately known as “Nagahara Senior” had died on the 11th of March 2015 in Hiroshima, Japan after a long fight with liver cancer. He was aged 83.

In 2010, Nagahara made an appearance at a pen clinic here in Singapore hosted by retailer Aesthetic Bay. Just a year later, Sailor announced his retirement and the launch of a commemorative edition of 600 “Takenuri” fountain pens which featured a smoked bamboo appearance and specially engraved Naginata Togi nib.

Nagahara had been to many pen clinics across the world, and he took with him a large model nib which he would use when explaining about each pen’s issues. In his later years, he faced declining health, which forced him to remain in Japan while his son continued his work. ITOYA President Jin Takemura said, “That smile you see on customers’ faces after attending these Nagahara Pen Clinics, that’s why Nagahara loved doing what he did.”

The elder Nagahara enjoyed an illustrious career spanning 65 years, and is revered worldwide for his inimitable nib designs in painstakingly handcrafted 21k gold. Nagahara, who joined the Sailor Pen Company in 1946 at the age of 14, was the creator of no less than 10 Sailor Specialty nibs which included the Naginata Togi, Emperor, Cobra and King Eagle, among others.

Nobuyoshi Nagahara is survived by his son, the Sailor master craftsman Yukio Nagahara. Nagahara Senior may have passed, but he will forever live on in his work – according to Cronicas Estilographicas, the younger Nagahara spent his whole day tuning nibs at the ongoing Mitsukoshi Festival of Fountain Pens, even amidst news of his father’s passing.