Interview with the “God of fountain pens”

Interview with the “God of fountain pens”

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

8 thoughts on “Interview with the “God of fountain pens”

  1. Nicole says:

    Grand, just grand!

  2. The Oracle says:

    More people should write with fountain pens. They’re so much smoother writing and they take almost no force so they’re easier on the hand than ball points.

  3. Ametatsu says:

    Fountain pens are lovely, I wish I could write properly with them (I bend nibs out of shape and anyway my hand smudges the ink)
    It’s lovely that there are people who pay that much attention to things like pens – it must be fascinating, tha amount you learn if you can stick with one thing that long

  4. Conor says:

    I wish I weren’t left handed sometimes. Finding a good pen is difficult, and when you spend a lot of time writing it does become a concern.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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