Kohitsu Shosha Pencil, Saitama Edition, 10B
This is a very special, upgraded version of the familiar Mitsubishi Kohitsu Shosha 6B, and like all pencils of this type, they are meant for practicing Japanese handwriting. The lead has an extra-soft formulation that allows for line variation with slight changes in hand pressure, much like a brush with a firm calligraphic tip.
This particular Kohitsu Shosha is made specifically for sale in Saitama Prefecture. In Saitama, north of Tokyo, there's apparently quite a bit of interest in traditional handwriting, so Mitsubishi offers this extra-soft, extra-dark, beautifully finished Kohitsu Shosha for the locals. It is only sold individually, with one gold pencil in a red box, and it is definitely offered at a premium price.
But we've personally spent $8 on lots of forgettable pens and pencils over the years, and the Saitama Edition Kohitsu Shosha is anything but forgettable. It's truly one-of-a-kind, with the broadest core and darkest mark of any pencil we've ever encountered. The very lightest touch quickly transfers graphite to paper, which gives this pencil unmatched flow and responsiveness.
Despite the ultra-soft core, the Saitama 10B sharpens to a fine, strong point with any ordinary pencil sharpener. It also erases well from any good art paper. As you'd expect with a high-end Mitsubishi pencil, it's made with top-quality incense cedar, which offers smooth sharpening, break resistance, and a very nice cedar smell.
Finally, we have to mention the special design and finish Mitsubishi has given this pencil. Painted with multiple coats of gold lacquer, then dipped in black, foil-stamped, and fitted with a black-and-gold endcap, it's definitely the most luxurious pencil we've ever held.
Made in Japan.
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