The fudepen (筆ペン), also known as "brush pen", is a cartridges-based writing implement used in East Asian calligraphy; in essence, an ink brush analogue to fountain pen.[1][2]

Japanese fudepen and its different brush strokes


It consists of a pen nib that mimics the brush-like quality of the ink brush with either brush strands as in a normal ink brush or a soft felt tip similar to a marker; the nibs are fed by an ink reservoir. The ink used is unlike traditional calligraphy ink. It is designed to adhere well to modern paper, while traditional ink only adheres well to rice paper.

Japanese company Kuretake was the first to launch a brush pen in 1973,[3][4] then followed by Pentel, which launched the "Pocket Brush" in 2010.[1][2] The Pocket used replaceable waterproof[5] ink cartridges like fountain pens.[6]

Fudepens (designed and recommended for calligraphy) have also gained popularity among comic book artists, who choose them to ink their works instead of dip pens or traditional brushes. One of those artists using Pentel was Neal Adams.[7]

Another two Japanese brands, Sakura[8] and Tombow,[9] manufacture and commercialise brush-tip markers, named "brush pens" by themselves, although unlike Pentel or Kuretake products, Sakura's and Tombow's don't use the same type of ink and do not bear refillable cartridges either.[10]


  1. ^ a b Pentel pocket brush pen GFKP3BPA - description and specifications on Jet Pens, 2010
  2. ^ a b Pentel brush on Cult Pens website
  3. ^ Kuretake fudepen on Kuretake website
  4. ^ Kuretake brush pen review on Parkablogs, 19 Nov 2012
  5. ^ Review: Pentel Pocket Brush Pen by Teoh Yi Chie, December 28, 2014
  6. ^ Pentel Pocket Brush Pen: A Comprehensive Guide June 4, 2019 on Jet Pens
  7. ^ Larry Hama interview by Bill Mitchell on Comic Book Resources, June 3, 2009
  8. ^ Pen brush on Sakura of America
  9. ^ Dual brush pen on Tombow website
  10. ^ Sakura Pigma brush pen on JetPens website