Ink Snippet: Sailor Jentle Four Seasons Rikyu-Cha

Sailor Rikyu-Cha writing samples

Starting this month, Sailor is going to re-release Rikyu-Cha, plus seven other inks, worldwide to expand its Four Seasons ink lineup to sixteen total inks. I had read so much about Rikyu-Cha that I couldn’t resist buying a bottle from Japan early.

I have primarily used Rikyu-Cha in two pens, one a very wet vintage Pelikan with medium nib, and the second an Edison with nib modified by Mike Masuyama to write like a Sailor fine. Rikyu-Cha seems like a wet ink: dry times were very long in the Pelikan, though more reasonable with the Edison. I did get nib creep.

Rikyu-Cha’s color is a combination of olive green and cigar leaf brown. Whether the brown or green predominates depends on the pen, the paper and the lighting. But you do see both.

Sailor Rikyu-Cha writing sample

I really want to emphasize the mixed green-brown color of Rikyu-Cha, because based on photos I expected it to be a dark brown ink. At least with my pens and papers, in our light, the color is lot more olive green than I had expected. That may not come out in a lot of photos, but it’s clear in person.

Here is Rikyu-Cha on Rhodia paper with the Edison with extra-fine nib.

Sailor Rikyu-Cha writing sample

A wetter pen will bring out more of the brown, and more sheen. Here’s the Pelikan with medium nib on Tomoe River paper.

Sailor Rikyu-Cha writing sample

Here is Rikyu-Cha swabbed multiple times, starting with one pass of the ink, then adding passes up to four.

Sailor Rikyu-Cha writing sample

I should mention that Rikyu-Cha changes color as it dries. When first put on paper,  Rikyu-Cha looks predominantly olive green, but it becomes more brown as it dries. However, that’s “more brown,” because even when dry, Rikyu-Cha always looks like a combination of olive green and brown.

Sailor Rikyu-Cha writing sample

The nicest thing about Rikyu-Cha for me is its shading and sheen. It sheens like crazy. It has rained every day here for what seems like forever, so I haven’t had enough sunlight in the last few weeks to take a sheen-errific photo. But trust me: I don’t tend to use sheeny pens and papers, so if I can see sheen, there’s sheen.

Sailor Rikyu-Cha writing sample

Rikyu-Cha cleaned up easily with just water, which I always love, but it still showed very decent water resistance on both Rhodia and ordinary paper.

Sailor Rikyu-Cha water resistance

However, Rikyu-Cha has been a poor performer for me on lower-quality paper. It does feather, and I saw showthrough and even bleedthrough with both pens — even the Edison with the extra-fine nib.

Here is a writing sample with the medium nib on the top line, and the extra-fine nib below, on Staples Sustainable Earth. Now that is a lower-quality paper, but not that bad. This amount of feathering is extremely unusual on Staples Sustainable Earth.

Sailor Rikyu-Cha writing sample

Rikyu-Cha has a nicely complex dye mixture. Here is paper towel chromatography.

Sailor Rikyu-Cha paper towel chromatography

I am a fan of muddy brown and green inks, but I still don’t have anything quite like Rikyu-Cha. Here are some comparisons.

Sailor Rikyu-Cha swabs comparison

That green-brown color space is complex, so I am going to caution that some people may want to sample Rikyu-Cha before buying. I didn’t get a lot of positive comments about Rikyu-Cha, honestly, not even from other ink fans. And for me it was a “like” rather than a “love at first sight,” which surprised me..

But I think a lot of people will love Rikyu-Cha. I think anyone who loves sheen will. And I suspect that using very wide nibs on sheeny paper like Tomoe River-type paper may be a good match for this ink. There’s a lot of pop there.

7 thoughts on “Ink Snippet: Sailor Jentle Four Seasons Rikyu-Cha

  1. I bought two bottles of Rikyu Cha several years ago and am down to one (which I opened within the past year). I like this ink, cos it’s interesting, but I do prefer when it dries greener than browner. For me, it tends to dry browner. I’ll try using it in a “drier” pen. Thanks for the tip!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve recently acquired a bottle. I just dipped an Osmiroid B3 italic nib into the bottle and I find the ink quite fascinating. It goes down wet and very green, and in moments dries to that tobacco leaf brown. My drying times were not that long really (I will time it next chance I get). I would be happy if it stayed the wet green colour, but the brown is pretty nice too! FWIW I was writing on Rhodia grid paper. Didn’t see any feathering either. As this ink is going to be re-released I will grab a few bottles as substitutes for the Pen & Message Cigar that is unobtainium here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I bet that’s a great nib for it. So glad you like it. And yeah my feathering was on absorbent paper. Rhodia is a champ. But … have you tried it with Tomoe River? The sheen! 🙂


  3. I am glad you did a review on this one. I would definitely go for the sample. This was on my list to try. I do like sheen, but shading is the main thing I look for. I especially like very dark shading. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This looks like a lovely ink. I hate that is seems to behave poorly in terms of feathering. I use to much cheap paper for this ink to be one I would want to add to my collection. Thanks for another great review.

    Liked by 1 person

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