(This page revised March 9, 2022)
It has probably never been the case that all pen manufacturers, whether in the first tier or not, have produced all of their own nibs. For Japanese pens, at least, it is sometimes possible to identify the manufacturer of the nib in a given pen. The Japanese Standards Association develops and maintains a set of standards, inaugurated in 1949, that apply to many products. Since the early 1950s, the Japan Industrial Standards (JIS) symbol has been applied to indicate certification of products that adhere to applicable standards, much as the Underwriters Laboratories’ UR symbol is applied in the United States or the Conformité Européen CE symbol in Europe. The left-hand symbol in the table below was the official JIS mark until October 1, 2005, at which time the right-hand symbol replaced it. Manufacturers were given a three-year grace period for the changeover; thus, use of the older symbol was permitted until September 30, 2008.
Because certification is not free of cost, some manufacturers have never marked products not intended for export.
If the nib in the pen under consideration bears the JIS mark, then it will almost always bear a four-digit number assigned by the JSA to identify the manufacturer. In some cases, the number is partially or completely hidden within the section, and it will be necessary to remove the nib from the pen to see the number.
NoteNot all of the factories listed here are known to have made fountain pens nibs. Some, such as Sanwa Ltd. (Tachikawa), are known for dip nibs only.
The table below lists the currently known JIS numbers assigned to nib manufacturers together with the identities of those manufacturers. The names of factories not known to have produced fountain pen nibs are printed in blue and enclosed in <angle brackets>. A designation of Job Shop in the Brand Name(s) column indicates a manufacturer who produces nibs only to order, for sale to pen manufacturers. Brand names printed in red and enclosed in [brackets] indicate brands not associated with the nib manufacturer in whose list they appear, but in whose pens nibs by that manufacturer are known to have been used.
|Japan Industrial Standard Nib Manufacturer Numbers|
|Number||Factory||Founder or Owner||Brand Name(s)|
|2585||Zebra Co., Ltd.||Tokumatsu Ishikawa||Zebra|
|3212||Currently unknown||Currently unknown||KSD|
|3231||Ishikawa-Kinpen Seisakusho||Seisaku Ishikawa||Ferme, [Goodman,] Kumiai, Parley, Spert, Teitoku|
|3232||Kawakami-Giken||Haruo Kawakami||Job Shop, [Best Pen,] [Comet,] [Skater]|
|3233||Kabutogi-Seisakusho||Ginjirō Kabutogi||[Dia,] Ideal, Steady, Swallow, etc.|
|3235||Imanishi-Kinpen||Tarō Imanishi||Job Shop, [Vanco]|
|3236||Ishihara-Seisakusho||Ishihara family||Job Shop|
|3239||Kamba-Seisakusho||Tsunejirō Kamba||Job Shop|
|3240||Maruzen Aoto||Maruzen Co.||Athena, Orion|
|3241||Master Man’nenhitsu||Yoshimasa Masuda||Master|
|3242||Nihon Man’nenhitsu||Hidematsu Shindō||Panly|
|3243||Nakamura Pensaki-Seisakusho||Nakamura family||Job Shop|
|3244||Elliot Man’nenhitsu||Yoshikazu Uesugi||Elliot|
|3245||Hashimoto Pensaki-Seisakusho||Hashimoto family||Job Shop|
|3246||Opal Man’nenhitsu||Shin’ichi Naoi||Opal|
|3247||Takizawa Kinpen-Seisakusho||Takizawa family||Job Shop|
|3248||Pilot Hiratsuka factory||Ryōsuke Namiki||Namiki, Pilot|
|3249||Pilot Shimura (Tokyo) factory||Ryōsuke Namiki||Namiki, Pilot|
|3250||Platinum Man’nenhitsu||Shunichi Nakata||Platinum, President|
|3251||Morison Man’nenhitsu||Yoshiyuki Tanigawa||Morison, ThreeStar|
|3253||Teikoku Kinpen||Teikin, Teikoku|
|3254||Honda Kinpen-Seisakusho||Honda family||Job Shop, [Ferme,] [Makoto] [Steady]|
|3418||Asahi Kinpen||Job Shop|
|3832||Honda Pensaki||Shigekazu Honda||Job Shop|
|3833||Sakiyama-Seisakusho||Sakiyama family||Job Shop, [Well]|
|3834||Sakai-Seisakusho||Sakai family||Job Shop|
|3855||Sekiguchi Pensaki||Sekiguchi family||Job Shop|
|3903||Zebra Co., Ltd.||Tokumatsu Ishikawa||Zebra|
|4324||Naitō Pensaki-Seisakusho||Naitō family||Job Shop|
|4366||Hatanaka Kōseido||Hatanaka family||[Hosei,] [Makoto,] [Reiyōn,] Venus|
|4622||Kabutogi-Seisakusho Tabata||Ginjirō Kabutogi||[Ferme,] [Gem,] Great, Seilon, Steady, [Victor]|
|4623||Imai Pensaki-Seisakusho||Imai family||Job Shop|
|4624||Naitō Pensaki-Seisakusho||Naitō family||Job Shop, [Steady]|
|4625||Tokyo Taisan Pen||Toyokichi Shinji||Job Shop|
|4922||Kabutogi-Seisakusho||Ginjirō Kabutogi||Reuter (Inaba-Shokat OEM)|
|4978||Tōkyō Trust Kōgyō||Ozawa||Job Shop|
|6008||<Nikko Pen Co., Ltd.>||Lion, Nikko|
|6997||Suzuki Pensaki-Seisakusho||Suzuki family||Yukihoshi|
The information in this article is as accurate as possible, but you should not take it as absolutely authoritative or complete. If you have additions or corrections to this page, please consider sharing them with us to improve the accuracy of our information.