Appreciating a Gold Fish pen by Namiki is not complete without knowing a bit of history of what Gold Fish meant to the Japanese.
The Japanese enjoy looking at these fishes and usually keep them in a large glass gold fish bowl. The first pure breed of Gold Fish was imported from China at the beginning of the 16th century, different species were imported during the Edo Period(1603-1867), and keeping kingyo for enjoyment became widespread. Until the 1960s, Gold Fish sellers flourished in Tokyo, carrying around kingyo-filled buckets suspended from a shoulder carrying pole.
A game called “Kingyo sukui”(Dip up gold fishes) is played at street stalls at summer festivals and fairs and even today is a lyrical feature of summer.
the Namiki gold fish pen from which the gold fish is extracted
In the premise of Namiki Pen Manufacturing Company in Hiratsuka, Japan, the gold fish is a symbol that is constantly used to illustrate the various lacquering processes on how a Namiki pen is being made as it evolved from blue print to the eventual Cinderalla.
Within Chinese art, the goldfish serves as a positive symbol, dating all the way back to the Tang Dynasty. Chinese traders brought goldfish to Japan in the 1500s, selling them as pets for the samurai and nobility. Goldfish breeding competitions are popular throughout Japan, as goldfish clubs work to produce unique genetic strains. They remain a central element in popular culture and art in modern Japan.
Let us take a look at more spectacular Namiki Pilot Gold Fish pens that were made by artists ranging from Sei 精, Hyakusen Murata 百川 and of course, the rarest made by Kyusai Yoshida 吉田久齋.
Above are the pictures of a Vintage Pilot GoldFish Pen made by Sei. This is a beautiful example of an antique Pilot Namiki Gold Fish Pen created by Sei c. 1980s. With hira maki-e adoring the gold fish and the gradual diminishing strokes of the brushes applied to the tail portion, it was as if the gold fish was swimming right in front of your eyes..
The above Namiki Double Gold Fish fountain pen is made in Yukari size by Hyakusen Murata. Mr. Murata is a specialist in kimpun, nashiji and his golden background works are evident in many pens ranging from Namiki Early Autumn, Namiki Thunder God vs Wind God and Namiki Yukari Panda.
Over the years, observers noticed that the gold fishes drawn on the pens are not as lively and vivid as those drawn in the earlier years. Part of the reasons could be due to the difficulty in hiring suitable younger artist to fill the position of the more experienced artists like Hyakusen Murata and Yasunori Sakamoto 康則who are the last few artists from the Kyusai Yoshida era of Kokkokai. Even Mr. Sakamoto had finally retired in 2013 to make way for new blood.
This Namiki Emperor Gold Fish launched in 2010 was made by a younger artist, Mr.Seki Chida 正樹. You will notice that the tail fins are not as vivid as those made by Sei.
The above Namiki pens are only the common Namiki pens many have seen and heard but how about those that many have not seen neither heard?
It gets a bit exciting to see some Namiki Pens that were commissioned in the early years that were not made known to the public, which still is till today…This is a spectacular image of one of the best Namiki Pen ever featured in public – An Emperor size Namiki Gold Fish pen made by Kyusai Yoshida 吉田久齋 for a special customer. Only 2 pieces are known to be existing.
We may have these Namiki-Pilot pen in stock every now and then so do check with us at email@example.com or visit www.elephant-coral.com and our location is at 333A Orchard Road, #03-03 Mandarin Gallery Singapore