Why are fountain pen inks so rare and costly in Taipei?

I have seen ink bottles being sold only in special shops of fountain pens.

None of the common stationery shops or carrefour have fountain pen ink (the kind which comes in bottle).

Do Taiwanese children not use fountain pens?

No one could deal with the chaos that would result from that.

I kind of remember the stationary store on Lishui street across from the school has them.

The most you’re going to get in run-of-the-mill stationary stores will be Pilot or Parker cartridges. Yes, fountain pens are a specialty item now, and imported bottled inks are costly. I think there are some domestic manufacturers, though.

As has been mentioned, kids here wouldn’t cope very well. Look at their inability to handle mechanical-pencil leads. I use a fountain pen in class, and one of my second-grade students started using a Platinum Preppy (with cartridges) soon after. He had ink all over his fingers from playing with the nib.

For traditional calligraphy, locals use proper brushes and ink. Those are part of the traditional Chinese scholar desk utensils, and hence culturally deemed more elegant than a pen. A fountain pen is an elegant foreign thing, a collectible, hence the price. Like wine, the more expensive the more face you gain. For daily use, with all they have to write when they are in school, a fountain pen does not cut it. Afterwrads, at work, they use their seals to sign important stuff. A seal is more valuable than a signature, and for locals, more reliable. hence, no use for fancy pens to sign stuff.


A fountain pen is an elegant foreign thing

I think there are some famous fountain pen companies in China. How come it was never popular in Taiwan…

Was it that they were once widely used and now their popularity is declined, or were they not used by kids ever?

Actually, I bet those are Taiwanese owned or started here. I know a couple of manufacturers and they all left for cheaper pastures.

As explained, not a cultural staple. No need for them.

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Fountain pens have fallen by the wayside all over the world, although they have been making a resurgence recently–like a few other traditional/nostalgic things. The Taiwanese manufacturers are likely OEMs that branched out and developed their own brand.

Here’s a link to a famous shop in Taipei: https://www.tylee.tw/

If you’re ever in Hualian check out this place: 福福鋼筆店. The shop is “famous” and the owner has been there forever. He specializes in selling fountain pens. I mean, he is like a master and can explain everything about them. I bought one to try out but I’m too impatient with the ink smearing.


Here’s the address:
No. 148, Zhongshan Road, Hualien City

wow that pen in video looks very cool!

Seems quite readily available online and not particularly expensive.



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300 NT for that small bottle is expensive IMO. thanks for the other links though.

Buy cheaper ink if you can’t afford it. It’s 300NT which is ~US$10.50 at current rates, cheaper than all but 1 source (not including shipping) on Amazon and nothing like the ludicrous US$65 the most expensive source is looking for. Amazon

I have a bottle of Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Green, but I think it was 250NT. You may be able to get it for cheaper, but that’s about going rate for a basic ink. Noodler’s is even more expensive.

Ink isn’t particularly cheap in the States either if you want a reasonably good fountain pen ink that won’t ruin a good pen.