Onishi Seisakusho Handmade Cellulose Acetate Fountain Pen - Barafu Black
Made by hand in Japan out of modern cellulose acetate, this beautiful pen evokes the nostalgic appeal of classic hand-turned celluloid pens from the early 20th century. Each pen body is individually created in a method passed down from "the Father of Pens," Kiyoshi Kato. The patterned cellulose acetate body has a beautiful sheen and weight that is comfortable in the hand, with elegant gold-coloured accents and a smooth steel nib.
- Gold-plated steel nib.
- Screw-on cap.
- Converter for using bottled ink included inside the pen body with see-through Ink Window
- Two black ink cartridges.
- Gift box noting that this pen is handcrafted in Japan.
Here are the last vestiges of a once booming industry of some 500 pen makers in Osaka producing hand-turned celluloid pens from the 1920s onwards. We feel proud to present to our customers the pens of Mr Kato and his apprentice Mr Ohnishi who have been safekeeping this craft single-handedly for the last decades.
Legendary Mr Kato Kiyoshi, affectionately nicknamed in the trade "the Father of Pens", began producing pens at age 19, after his father, also a pen maker, passed away shortly before WW2. We are told Mr Kato kept a large quantity of celluloid rods, buried in his back garden, until the war was over when he dug these out and established his own pen company eponymously named the Kato Seisakusho Company.
Many colourful stories about his escapades selling pens around the globe and in particular in the Middle East, including anecdotes of camel-riding and bribing jail officers with Japanese fountain pens, would have us believe Mr Kato was as talented a salesman as he was a master pen maker!
During the 80s onwards, as one of the few remaining expert celluloid hand-turners, he was called upon by luxury pen brands such as Visconti to produce small runs of celluloid special editions.
Indeed celluloid, one of the earliest thermo plastics, is becoming an extinct base material for pen making - regretfully as it has beautiful density, shine, weight and of course features the most vibrant and sometimes psychadelic patterns. Today it is used only in a handful of industries including luxury spectacle making. The production of celluloid in Japan has nearly now entirely stopped and Mr Ohnishi who has been continuing Mr Kato's work is using materials in limited supply, passed on to him by his boss after his passing in 2010 at the age of 85.
Unfortunately due to the end of production of celluloid in Japan, in this newly introduced patterns such as this smart Blue Marble pattern, Acetate Cellulose has had to step in as a replacement for the obsolete material. The result is not unlike celluloid and possesses the feel of an antique from a bygone era with tremendous nostalgic appeal.