Best Japanese Calligraphy and Brush Pens 2020 | Create Beautiful Scripts

by Erika Shinomoto

It takes a lot of practice to use calligraphy and brush pens the right way. So here are the best Japanese calligraphy and brush pens for you to master your calligraphic strokes and create beautiful scripts! 

Calligraphy and brush pens are extremely popular in Japan, and they have been for centuries. Working with calligraphy and brush pens require unbiased focus and concentration; it is a relaxing activity that takes you to a zen mode. But you cannot just take any pen; you need the best Japanese calligraphy and brush pens to help you master this traditional Japanese art to perfection. 

I recently started practicing calligraphy and totally loving it! You need pens that thicken on even the slightest pressure, but can also be used for fine lines. The pens should also easily shift from dark to light and back again. So here are some of the best Japanese calligraphy and brush pens I’ve curated so you can have the right start as well! 

Best Japanese Calligraphy And Brush Pens

Best Japanese Calligraphy and Brush PensBest For Price
Akashiya Sai watercolor Brush PensIllustrations, Drawings$30.51
Kuretake Pocket Brush PenBeginners$5.40
JapanBargain Ink Prefiled Calligraphy PenAsian Calligraphy$12.88
Sumi Brush PenCalligraphists$20.76
Magic Rewritable Calligraphy penBeginners$16.99
NUOLUX Sumi Calligraphy Brush PenWriting and painting $13.49
Goat and Wolf Brush SetExperienced Calligraphists$12.99
Lang Hao Japanese Calligraphy Pen SetMid-level Calligraphists $8.25
Pentel Fude Brush PenBeginners$6.74
Kuretake Bimoji Felt Tip Brush Pen With Special GripManga$3.99

#1 — Akashiya Sai Watercolor Brush Pens

Best Japanese Calligraphy Brush Pen For Illustrations

Most of the Japanese brush pens are made using blank ink and are used for decorative writing, however, that does not mean you cannot use some colors. This set from Akashiya is one of the best brush pens you can get; these pens are versatile and are great in terms of quality. It has a soft brush tip and is perfect for drawing manga, coloring, illustrations, comics, etc. 

With a Japanese calligraphy brush pen, you should be able to draw or write a letter or sign your name. This multi-color brush pen set is perfect for these purposes; they let you draw, write, and sign, all flawlessly. The bristles are perfectly designed and have slim handles.

#2 — Kuretake Pocket Brush Pen

Best Japanese Calligraphy Brush Pen For Beginners

I love brush pens that I can carry with me in my pocket, which is why I love this beautiful pocket-size Japanese calligraphy brush pen by Kuretake. It is short, tiny, and can easily slip inside my pocket. It has a fine tip, but you only need to add a tiny amount of pressure to make strokes up to 1.5 mm wide. The pen can be gift-wrapped when you order it. It is a great pen to give as a gift for somebody who loves artistic strokes.

Related: Prefer doodling instead? Here are best Japanese gel pens perfect for drawing, doodling, or simply writing!

#3 — JapanBargain Ink Prefiled Calligraphy Pen

Best Japanese Calligraphy Pen For Asian Calligraphy

The pen is made and meant for Japanese calligraphy writing. It already comes with black ink prefilled and is designed like your regular pens for easy use. You can easily carry this pen around with you and practice those perfect calligraphy strokes wherever and whenever. The tip of the brush is layered to allow you to make strokes of different widths, just like you do in calligraphy. 

Because it looks like a standard pen, it is easy to hold and so, is perfect for somebody who is just beginning his or her calligraphy journey. You can comfortably practice your strokes with this pen.Definitely one of the best calligraphy and brush pens! 

#4 — Sumi Calligraphy Brush Pen

Best Japanese Calligraphy Brush Pen With Nylon Tip

This Sumi brush pen can replicate the strokes of a traditional Japanese brush. The brush has a nylon tip that is designed in such a way that it imitates the strokes of an authentic Japanese calligraphy brush to perfection.

The brush is portable; you can carry it around with you in your bag and begin your calligraphy practice wherever you are. The ink is also refillable. It comes with three refills so you do not have to worry about it getting over. You can use this as a calligraphy brush or as a typical fountain pen. If you’ve already got a hang of calligraphy and are looking to take your skill to the next level, this is one of the best calligraphy and brush pens for you! 

Related: Looking to gift someone? Check out these gifts from Japan for your loved ones!

#5 — Magic Rewritable Calligraphy Pen

Best Japanese Calligraphy Pen For Beginners

True Buddhist calligraphy masters only get one shot to get the calligraphy right; there are no rooms for any mistake. But unlike them, you are allowed to cheat and start over, again and again. And for that purpose, nothing is better than this magic rewritable calligraphy pen. 

It does not use ink. You just need water and the writing fabric that comes with the set. It is the perfect practicing set for beginners who are not yet confident about their calligraphy skills. When you use water to write on the fabric, it looks just like ink but vanishes in a couple of minutes, giving you a plain palette to start over. The set comes with three brushes, rack for them, water dish, and the fabric. Before you indulge in calligraphy brushes, this is a good place to start. If you’ve just started working on your calligraphy skill, this is one of the best Japanese calligraphy and brush pens you could get for yourself! 

#6 — NUOLUX Sumi Calligraphy Brush Set

Authentic Japanese Calligraphy Brush Set 

Here’s another one of the best Japanese calligraphy and brush pens you should give a try. The calligraphy brush set from NUOLUX looks authentic. It also uses wolf hair for the brushes, just how it is supposed to be. The brushes have super long handles, just the way they are with authentic brushes. These pens are used both for writing and painting. You will need to get ink and paper to begin with. Now, this is where you can go truly authentic by buying an ink stone and grinding bowl or you can simply get a jug of ink. 

#7 — Goat And Wolf Hair Brush Set

Best Japanese Calligraphy Brushes

These brushes are beautiful and authentic and are made with real goat and wolf hair. There are three different sizes in the set. The brushes swell when you dip in the water, which shows just how absorbent they are. This is a great feature to have in calligraphy writing brushes. 

The wooden handles are stylish and long; they have been designed to give you maximum comfort. You can practice calligraphy for hours using these pens and not worry about getting hand cramps. These pens have modern designs but have features of those authentic Japanese calligraphy pens. You will have to buy your own ink and paper. Again, you can take the long, authentic route or cheat on the ink.

I recommend having one of these best Japanese calligraphy and brush pens set in your collection!

#8 — Lang Hao Japanese Calligraphy Pen Set

Best Japanese Calligraphy Pen For Calligraphists 

This calligraphy set works as a great gifting option; a lover of calligraphy will love this beautiful set that comes in a gorgeous box. The brushes are made with real wolf hair, just how traditional Japanese calligraphy pens are supposed to be made. The deal about using wolf hair is that it prevents the ink from dripping and is super absorbent. It basically saves your ink from being wasted. The pens are versatile, with each brush head designed to produce a different brush stroke. 

This is one of the best Japanese calligraphy and brush pens to give as a gift to a calligraphist! 

#9 — Pentel Fude Brush Pen

Best Japanese Calligraphy Fude Brush For Beginners

This is yet another Japanese brush pen that you can carry around with you. You can use this pen all the time, anywhere you want. The tip of the pen is fine, so it barely looks like a brush. This, however, has a benefit. You do not have to reserve the pen specifically for calligraphy; you can use it for everyday purposes too. 

The body of the pen is designed like typical ball point pens, which makes it comfortable to hold and write with. This is great for beginners who are just beginning the journey and cannot handle thin, long handles yet. This is another one of the best Japanese calligraphy and brush pens for beginners!

#10 — Kuretake Bimoji Felt Tip Brush Pen with Special Grip

Best Japanese Calligraphy Brush With Felt Tip 

The Bimoji brush pen is specifically made for Manga-style Japanese calligraphy writing. The brush head of the pen is medium-thick, which allows you to make solid strokes. The tip is made of felt, but the strokes created by it make it seem like you are using genuine animal hair to make your brush strokes. It’s definitely one of the most affordable and best calligraphy and brush pens I’ve used. 

The pen contains water-based ink, which causes a downside as you cannot refill it after it gets over. But the ink is also helpful in making the calligraphy strokes look genuine and authentic. 

Tips on how to hold and write with calligraphy and brush pens

#1 — Hold the pen like you would a brush, with the end facing up

The key to getting the perfect strokes is to hold the pen with the end facing up. Doing this makes it easier for you to control the thickness of your strokes. You must lightly grasp the pen and hold it gently. You can get good strokes if you apply too much force and pressure. To provide ease to your hand and arm, you must remember to keep your posture straight.

#2 — Control the thickness

Do you want to make your work look like traditional Japanese calligraphy? You must learn how to control and flow smoothly between thick and thin strokes. 

If you want thin lines, only touch the tip of the brush to the paper. If you are unable to get fine lines, you are probably writing with too much angle or force; you need to relax your hand and softly touch the paper. 

For thick lines, push the entire length of the tip against the page. Doing this increases the area touched by the brush, and it naturally results in thicker lines.

#3 — Practice

You do not rush with something so zen and relaxing as calligraphy. If you think you cannot get the hang of calligraphy writing, slow down. You cannot turn into a calligraphy master right at the beginning of your journey. It takes a lot of practice to perfect this soulful art. All you have to do is keep practicing.

Ready to draw out those perfect letters?

These were some of the best Japanese calligraphy and brush pens that you can get to start your journey of calligraphy writing. I hope you found something that suits your needs. Happy Zen time to you!

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