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Now you might guess like this. “What will nib-adapting bring to us?”

Ono: I will explain about the difference between fountain pens and other writing instruments like ballpoint pens. Although you have to hold ball point pens with your hand for writing, you do not need in the case of an ideal adapted fountain one. I believe the ultimate fountain pens let you feel like writing in complete conjunction.

For that, however, nib-adapting is necessary. Mending can set the shape to rights. But it is not always matching your hand. Each man has his best different from others. I always tell my customers to be selfish about fountain pens, therefore, because I am here to make the pen match you as much as possible.



His pride is based on, needless to say, his past experience. Why did he enter the gate, now?

Ono: I entered Dia Industrial Corporation when I was 27. They were laying five-day workweek system although it was not spread yet. I was absorbed in the holidays. After a long time, I applied for the nib-adapting department to fill a vacancy.

Looking back, I believe I am good to have become an artisan. Of course, I was no use when I moved to. I spent hard years being told off by the then custom. To set the shape to rights is as easy as you can within half a year. However, you need over a decade to be a master of nib-adapting. Customers often tell us what is beyond our imagination. So you must spend, at the very least, over 15 years for being accommodating.


In other words, nib-adapting masters are there in order to make your pens ideal ones. It is considered that the artisans like Mr. Ono are very important as long as there are fountain pens in the world and as far as there are the people who love the ones. Our social situations, however, look unmotivated to grow them up.

Ono: Companies need to pay a lot of labor cost when they are engaging craftsmen. What I am doing is never seen in the Western Japan. Some said my shop was the final fountain pen store in Japan. I feel very sorry I heard there were lately many people who did not know fountain pens’ nibs can be adapted.


It means fountain pens are unusual today in Japan. Why? Spreading of other writing instruments? Times have been bad for a long time? We usually have smart phones or PCs? Ono mentions about another reason.

Ono: Fountain pens are mostly expensive although there are some cheap ones. So they do not often use. I want them to have the pens for everyday use. Using usually makes it take to your hands. Then, you can get joy to have the pens. You should use many times if expensive.



Ono Taenobu
(Nib-adapting Artisan)

Born in Osaka.
In 1976, entered
Dia Industrial Corporation.
Retired in 2010.
In 2011 November, opened
his own shop in Osaka
"Ono Fountain Pen."



Indeed, expensive are most of fountain pens. Above all, the “Montblanc” ones are a synonym for quality goods.

Ono: In my shop, there are several brands like “Delta” and “Parker.” “Montblanc” is the top of them. A standard of fountain pens still points “Meister Stueck 149” by “Montblanc.” They have a core of fountain pens, in other words.


It is very difficult to form and maintain a brand, because you have to hold the overwhelming difference from other rival companies and keep being loved. Finally, I asked him what his future vision was.

Ono: I hope my shop will be invariably visited by people who long to have a fountain pen someday. I have to grow up more since there are no goals for artisans. At the first step, I am planning to prepare my original wrapping paper although it is supposed nobody wants now. I must try more. However, it makes me really happy to think about something like that.





Interview & Text by Misaka Youhei

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