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PingMag has an interview with Nobuyoshi Nagahara, a Japanese pen nib craftsman who’s been on the job for 50 years:

PingMag: You must need a lot of patience to deal with each customer with such care.

Nobuyoshi Nagahara: The thing that makes me most happy doing this work is being able to help people with their worries and unhappiness, thanks to fountain pens. Nearly all of my repair jobs come to me with a letter attached. I once made a pen nib for a junior high school girl. She was a quiet, unhappy girl. But when I made her a new nib, I suppose she must have practiced writing really hard. She won a calligraphy award. And thanks to that she brightened right up. Or, I get a lot of repair jobs from people who have a pen that belonged to their father. Those times, I tell them just what I think. “Your father must have been a great father. In those days it was no joke to get hold of a pen as good as this one. This is your father’s medal as a man.” Even a simple fountain pen can be steeped in deep family relationships, you see.

The God of Fountain Pens – Link

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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