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Sailor Rei Fountain Pen - 1st Series - Wajima Akebono-nuri

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Sailor Rei Fountain Pen - 1st Series - Wajima Akebono-nuri.

This pen, made by lacquer artist Masanora Sumi, uses the Akebono-nuri urushi lacquer technique to create a striking gradient from black to bright red. Akebono-nuri, a shading technique from Wajima, Japan, is considered one of the most difficult urushi lacquer techniques. 

Sailor's Rei series showcases traditional urushi lacquer techniques from various regions across Japan. Urushi lacquer is prized for its beautiful finish and also is incredibly durable and naturally antibacterial, leading to its use in art, furniture, dishware, temples, and more since thousands of years ago. The process of creating urushi lacquerware is time-consuming and labor-intensive; it involves the application of dozens of layers of urushi lacquer, each of which must fully dry in a humidity- and temperature-controlled chamber before being polished with charcoal powder and recoated. Consequently, each pen can take months to complete. The result is a smooth, glossy, highly refined finish.

The Rei 1st series features three designs created by lacquer artists Hirokazu Shimamori and Masanora Sumi. The pen caps and barrels are constructed of ebony wood, with grip sections made of PMMA resin. The Rei fountain pens are slightly larger than a Sailor 1911 Large and use the 1911L-size 21k gold nib.

  • Release Date: December 2019
  • Nib size: Medium
  • 21k gold nib
  • Fill Mechanism: Cartridge/converter (Sailor proprietary) 
  • Comes with a converter and a cartridge
  • Comes packaged in a Paulownia wood box with a handmade fabric pen case
  • Note that this pen is designed not to be posted to protect the urushi lacquer
  • More Sailor Rei


  • Length (capped): 15.1cm
  • Diameter: 1.7 cm
  • Weight: 29.1g

Sailor was founded in 1911. The founder Kyugoro Sakata was given a fountain pen by a friend returning from the UK after studying at the Royal Navy. He was inspired and determined to start making fountain pens in Japan. Sailor became the first fountain pen company in Japan, and earned many more firsts in Japan—first ballpoint pen in 1948, first ink cartridge in 1954 and first brush pen in 1972, etc.

In the 1970s, Sailor made a popular beginner fountain pen, "Candy," that sold more than 15 million within a few years. However, the number of the fountain pen users were declining as ballpoint pens became more mainstream.

In 1981, Sailor decided to go in the opposite direction from their "Candy" pen and began focusing on producing a higher standard series, which is the 1911 series we see today. Their focus on making a higher standard provides a great foundation for their later series of pens. Today, Sailor makes one of the most diverse lines of nibs, some of which are designed for specific writing purposes such as writing musical notes to one that is best for character writing.