Ink Flight #36 Reveal and Giveaway, January 2020

Wow. Ink Flight #36 closes the chapter on YEAR 3 of this monthly expedition. It feels like yesterday when I proposed my to my wife... that she make all the ink samples (love you, Mrs. InkJournal). At first, we had no idea how many people would be up for this. Now, three years later and I can't believe how many of the original group of inky travelers have stuck with us since the beginning.

To all our frequent flyers - thank you! Even if you came on board later, we appreciate the support and trust. We strive to earn it each month by stuffing these boxes with as much fountain pen love as possible.

Enough of the mushy stuff, let's get to this month's Ink Flight reveal. 

Back in June of 2019, we first introduced our Ink Flight crew to the wonders of Sailor fountain pen ink. In my humble opinion, Sailor ink never disappoints. Last time, we explored the Jentle and Four Seasons collections. In this month's box, we explore a brand new collection called the Sailor Manyo inks.

"Manyosyu" is the oldest (circa AD 759) and most revered anthology of Japan's poetic compilations. About 1,500 poems in the anthology cover 160 species of plants and 50 different flowers. The Sailor "Manyo" fountain pen ink collection features colors inspired by flowers mentioned in "Manyosyu."

Sailor Manyo fountain pen inks

Here is a rundown of January 2020's Ink Flight lineup. 

Kerria Japonica, also known as the Japanese marigold bush or "Yamabuki," has golden yellow color petals. A bright, golden yellow to chase those winter blues away.

Haha translates to "mother" in Japanese.  I could not find any "Haha" plant or flower. But, this dual-shading ink is one mother of fun color. It's undersaturated and best used on white paper (versus ivory or cream-colored). 

The fruit-bearing Akebia plant serves as the inspiration for this dark magenta ink. Fans of Iroshizuku Yama Budo or Sailor Jentle Grenade will enjoy this saturated color.

The pussy willow's flower buds open into gorgeous pink and silver catkins in the spring. Yes, Sailor named an ink that translates into "pussy willow." And, it's a pretty awesome dual-shading color.

Also called Japanese mugwort, the leaves are blanched or boiled to be added to soups or made into rice dumplings known as mochi. Those who enjoy Emerald of Chivor or Yamadori will love this dark aqua teal color with sheen.

Although Sumire refers to a type of perennial species of violet, this ink is a bold blue color. Although it's not as unique as the dual-shading, lighter saturated color or the sheeners in this group, Sumire is a well-done, simple, yet brilliant blue.

The vines of the Japanese Kudzu can be invasive, growing over trees and shrubs. It can be used in erosion control, culinary applications, and teas. Similar to Akebi's richness and depth, Kuzu is a great choice for passionate letter writing.

Tasting notes: Sailor is right on trend with the inclusion of several rich, saturated inks that can sheen as well as the under-saturated colors that can shade in two different colors. I get excited for colors that are unconventional. Haha and Nekoyanagi scratch that itch. I'm also loving the deep blues of the Yomogi and Sumire. The deep tones of Kuzu and Akebi keep my blue tendencies on my toes. Overall, I love this set of colors. Sailor knocked it out of the park.

Ink Flight Box 36 contents - Sailor Manyo Inks, Rhodia Heritage Journal and Midori Paper Clip

Box Extras: Rhodia Heritage Journal, Book Block Binding, A5 Size

This old-world style journal has a vintage feel with exposed book-block binding, French-milled ivory paper, and patterned cover design. The Heritage journal helps keep your writing organized with numbered pages, an index, and a label space at the top of every page. Use all your fountain pens with glee on the ink-friendly, super smooth, pH neutral, acid-free paper.

Keep your place in your 2020 journal with the Midori Clip Bookmarker. Made from 0.1mm thick stainless steel, this bookmarker is so fine, it doesn't interfere with writing or turning of pages. You can also lay it flat to trace the icon stencil. Many varieties of stencil designs exist and are selected at random for this month's box recipients.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY (USA shipping addresses only)

Leave a comment below to let us know what you think about January 2020's Ink Flight, Sailor Manyo Inks, or the box extras.  We will pick one random commenter to win an upcoming February 2020's Flight Box on Tuesday, January 28th at 9:00 pm. My sincere apologies to our international friends, we will only ship this giveaway to USA addresses.


Previous Ink Flights (Ink Flight #1 - Noodler's, Ink Flight #2 - Robert Oster Signature, Ink Flight #3 - KWZ, Ink Flight #4 - J. Herbin, Ink Flight #5 - P.W. Akkerman, Ink Flight #6 - Papier Plume, Ink Flight #7 - Platinum Mix-Free, Ink Flight #8 - Franklin-Christoph, Ink Flight #9 - Organics Studio, Ink Flight #10 - Monteverde, Ink Flight #11 - Krishna, Ink Flight #12 - Caran d'Ache, Ink Flight #13 - Rohrer & KlingnerInk Flight #14 - Blackstone, Ink Flight #15 - Colorverse, Ink Flight #16 - De Atramentis, Ink Flight #17 - Aurora & Montegrappa, Ink Flight #18 - Krishna, KWZ, Papier Plume, Ink Flight #19 - Diamine, Ink Flight #20 - J. Herbin, Ink Flight #21 - Robert Oster Signature 80's Collection, Ink Flight #22 - 3 Oysters, Ink Flight #23 - InkJournal Holiday Blend, Ink Flight #24 - Taccia, Ink Flight #25 - Kyoto TAG, Ink Flight #26 - Kaweco, Ink Flight #27 - April Fool's Surprise, Ink Flight #28 - Pelikan, Ink Flight #29 - Sailor, Ink Flight #30 - Straits Pen Honest Inks, Ink Flight #31 - Colorverse, Season 5, Ink Flight #32 - Inks by Vinta, Ink Flight #33 - Troublemaker, Ink Flight #34 - Monteverde Sweet Life, Ink Flight #35 - Taccia Inks Pt. 2)