Pilot Pen has announced three new models in the Namiki product line – inspired by the beauty of the galactic system and creatures of myth, Namiki’s Emperor Dragon, Yukari Shooting Stars and Yukari Milky Way capture the magnificence of the unknown.
Fearsome and powerful, dragons are considered benevolent, bringers of wealth and good fortune. In Japanese mythology, the dragon is highly-regarded as the Guardian of the East – symbolising strength, power and protection.
There are two types of Japanese dragons; one belonging to the sky while the other is found in bodies of water as illustrated on the cap and barrel of the Emperor-sized pen using the Taka (raised) Maki-e technique, the highest level of advanced Maki-e techniques which requires at least three months to produce.
The sky dragon depicted on the cap of the fountain pen is seen fiercely guarding the pearl within its three-clawed grasp, believed to be the wish-fulfilling pearl jewel.
Yukari Shooting Stars
Among one of the most breathtaking sights of the night sky, Shooting Stars have been revered with awe and stupefaction. Commonly known as shooting stars, meteors are caused by the entry of small pieces of rock, dust, or metal from space that hit the Earth’s atmosphere at an extremely high speed – heating up and leaving a trail of light in the sky, which people occasionally see at night. Using the Fuse-zai-shiki in Togidashi (burnished) Maki-e technique, the motif is beautifully captured against a midnight black background, bringing attention to intricate details.
Given the magical association, shooting stars, are believed to bring good luck. According to legend, Gods would occasionally get curious and open the dome of heaven to peer down on Earth. In doing so, this led to some stars being released and eventually becoming visible as shooting stars. If one were to make a wish while the star is lit, the Gods might be able to hear and grant the wish.
Among modern Hawaiian-Japanese, it is believed that if a shooting star approaches one’s direction, the collars of the kimono must be opened to admit good luck.
Yukari Milky Way
Paying homage to spiral galaxies, Namiki translates the Milky Way onto the fountain pen using the Fuse-zai-shiki in Togidashi (burnished) Maki-e technique.
The Milky Way, home to planet Earth, had its name “milky” derived from its appearance as seen from Earth as a band due to its disk-shaped structure, bulging center and surrounding spiral arms.
In Japan, Tanabata, also known as the Star Festival, is a popular festival that celebrates the meeting of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi. According to a Chinese legend, the Milky Way separates these lovers and they are only allowed to meet once a year on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month of the lunisolar calendar as seven was regarded to be a lucky number.
People celebrate this day by writing their wishes on small strips of paper, called tanzaku, and hanging them on bamboo trees along with other decorations, praying for their wishes to come true. Originating from China, the festival found its way to Japan during the feudal period and merged with local customs, making Tanabata a festival widely-celebrated across Japan.
The Namiki Yukari Shooting Stars and Namiki Yukari Milky Way will each retail at S$3,210 while the Namiki Emperor Dragon retails at S$12,840 (inclusive of GST). The pens will be available from November 2016 onwards from authorised retailers.
Photos: Pilot Pen Corporation / Pilot Pen Singapore