Pilot Iroshizuku Asa-Gao Ink Review

Pilot Iroshizuku Asa Gao

The second in this batch of ink reviews is for one of my favourite blue inks, Pilot Iroshizuku Asa-Gao.

As is typically the case with Iroshizuku inks, there’s no great backstory to the name of the ink. “Asa-Gao” means Morning Glory, so the name derives from the mainly blue coloured flowering plant. I say mainly blue because there’s not only blue forms but white, purple and pink too. Even the blue form varies a great deal, but the name is still appropriate for this deeply saturated ink with a hint of purple.

The bottle came from an Ebay supplier – this was before I was aware of a more reasonably priced Amazon supplier. At the time of writing the price can vary from about £15 to an eye-watering £90. Since there are still some lower priced suppliers around at the moment I’ll class this is moderately priced for the purposes of this review.

I have already desribed the typical 50ml Iroshizuku bottle and box in my review of Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-Gaki, so I won’t repeat myself. The difference here is that the labels on the bottle and box are coloured to fairly closely match the ink, although I think they look a bit washed out compared to the ink.

The test pen in this instance was a Pilot MR Silver with a medium nib.

The ink showed little water resistance although faint blue lines were left under running water. The droplet test obliterated the lines completely. Cleaning was easy, and the drying time was quite quick at around 20 seconds.

Rhodia Dot Pad No 16

Pilot Iroshizuku Asa Gao - Rhodia Dot Pad

This really shows why I like this ink – no feathering, moderate shading without ever looking washed out, good flow and above all the colour is a really nice, no nonsense, business blue leaning towards purple. I typically use this ink in a Lamy 2000 with a fine nib, so there’s a quick writing sample with that pen (not that there’s any appreciable difference).

Ryman Memo Block 9cm x 9cm

Pilot Iroshizuku - Ryman Memo Block

Some feathering here, but still acceptable.

Yellow Post-It

Pilot Iroshizuku Asa Gao - Post-It

Looking a little bit washed out, but still okay.

Field Notes – Pitch Black

Pilot Iroshizuku Asa Gao - Field Notes

This paper also drains the colour a little, but performamnce on this paper is still okay overall.

Mnemosyne Word Card

Pilot Iroshizuku Asa-Gao - Word Card

This gives a good indication of the shading this ink is capable of.


As is usually the case, my liking for this ink comes down to the colour. It’s as close to my ideal blue as I’ve seen so far. It performs well on mosts papers and while more water resistance would be nice, I’ve yet to come across another blue ink that ticks all the boxes. Until I do this will suit me for everyday use.

Reflections on the colour

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