The Pilot Ishime is an urushi lacquer pen over a brass body, which provides a nice heavier weight in the hand while writing. It comes with a beautiful 18k gold nib in a size #10 Pilot nib size providing wet strokes with abundant ink flow to the paper. The name Ishime comes from Japanese meaning stone, which can be seen on the stone surface of the pen that has been carved into the urushi.
Japanese Urushi art is one of Japan's traditional decorative art forms. The Urushi lacquer process is performed using the sap harvested from the Urushi lacquer tree and has been historically used for its preservative and protective properties because the material becomes extremely durable once hardened. Ancient artifacts such as arrowheads, bowls, combs and jewelry have been preserved only in the parts that have been coated with Urushi. Objects that have been lacquered with Urushi are valuable due to the labor intensive process of Urushi as well as the value of Urushi itself. Urushi trees take about 12 years to reach maturity for harvest and harvest time occurs over the span of several months and seasons, the purity and quality of the sap differing depending on harvest season. Each tree yields just 250 ml to 300 ml of sap and after harvesting, the tree needs to be chopped down and takes another 10-12 years till the next harvest.