Suzuka Sumi Ink Sticks
The making of ink sticks here is said to have begun at the end of the 8th century, when soot was obtained by burning pine that was cut from the mountains around Suzuka. An animal glue was then added to the soot which was dried and used to make ink.
During the Edo period (1600-1868) when feudal lords were designated family crests and schools for young children were established at temples, the number of people using ink increased and production of ink sticks under the protection of the clan rose.
Ink made from a Suzuka Sumi and used in a creative piece of work has a good appearance, a real sense of quality and depth. There is also a favorable balance between how the ink seeps into the paper and the solid parts of a line.
Suzuka-zumi ink owes its good coloring for producing works of art, high-quality depth, and good balance of clear lines and bleed to the beneficial geographical and climate and natural features of the production region.
How to make
A hide glue called nikawa is melted, and kneaded into the ink in order to make good quality ink, then formed. Next, it is dried, polished using a bivalve shell, and finished with a decorative painting.