The design of Krone's Shogun fountain pen is based on the three most influential leaders of the Shogun period: Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu. The relationship of this trio in the design of the pen is related to the famous Japanese haiku, The Shogun and the Cuckoo Bird. This ancient proverb illustrates the different temperaments and strategies of the three leaders and concludes that Tokugawa Ieyasu had the most honorable approach to the cuckoo, resulting in his stronger and lengthier rule over Japan. Using a beautiful mother of pearl barrel as a canvas, the artist of our pen used four different methods of maki-e painting to create a design that symbolizes the relationship of Nobunaga, Hideyoshi and Tokugawa to each other, to the cuckoo bird, and to their country. The painting of the pen depicts each leader by their "Kamon" or family crest symbol.



Below the three crests is a beautifully detailed representation of a Shogun who is contemplating the cuckoo bird beside him. Under the cap of the pen are three “kanji” or Chinese characters that symbolize each person, “satsu” (killing) for Nobunaga, “kei”(tactics) for Hideyoshi, and “ji”(waiting) for Nobunaga. The karajishi (Chinese imaginary lion) symbol on top of the cap was liked by many Shoguns in history. This entire design is displayed with a brilliant array of shimmering colors that effectively convey not only the Shogun theme, but the unique influence of theartist. The four methods of maki-e used on the Shogun pen are togidashi-maki-e, taka-maki-e, kirigane-chirashi and marugata-chirashi. Todashi-maki-e is a burnished method where tiny grains of precious metal pieces are sprinkled over the design onto the surface after the urishi lacquer process. After drying, the surface is coated with another urishi layer of lacquer.



Upon the  second drying , the pattern is burnished or shetched with charcoal and polished until glossy. The second method used is taka- maki-e where the design is coated and drawn with the actual urishi lacquer. The more coats, the more the image rises, which is why this method is known as the relief style. This is the most elaborate method because it enables the image on the pen to be three-dimensional. Taka-maki-e is also the ultimate and most difficult to produce. It requires the skill of a great master. Kirigane-maki-e and marugata- maki-e refer to the shapes of the tiny gold flakes, kirigane meaning rectangular and marugata meaning round. These two methods require the most patience and precision, for every flake must be strategically placed individually by hand using a special wooden needle. Kirigana and marugata-maki-e are very useful for shaping and defining specific images on a design due to the control the artist has over the placement of the gold flakes. The artist of the Shogun pen used  these methods extensively to bring the Shogun figure to life on the mother of pearl barrel.


Available in a worldwide Limited Edition of 80 magnum fountain pens. Piston Fill. F, M and B.