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Ume – Plum blossom. Often mentioned in Japanese poetry as a symbol of spring after the stark winter months. ”Prunus mume”, commonly known as Ume or Japanese apricot, is a species of Asian plum in the Rosacea family. The tree flowers in later winter, typically in late January or early February before the leaves appear. Each flower has five petals and is between 1-3cm in diameter. The flower colors range from white, rose and to deep red. The Ume blossom symbolizes courage and undaunted spirit and its simplicity in appearance is seen as a lesson for ‘pride in poverty’. Japanese tradition says that the Ume blossom functions as a protective charm against evil and the Ume tree is traditionally planted in the north-east of the garden – the direction from which evil is believed to come. Sailor Pen is proud to introduce them as a collection of very special Fountain Pens designed and hand decorated using the traditional Japanese art of Kaga Maki-e by the artist and craftsman Mr. Kousen Oshita in Japan.The collection has been specially commissioned by Sailor to commemorate the close collaboration between Sailor and Singapore. The beautiful Sakura, Ume, Kiku & Tsubaki are designed and hand painted by Master Kousen Oshita in Japan using the traditional Japanese art of Kaga Maki-e.The newly developed Realo piston filled mechanism fountain pens are fitted with 21K solid gold nib. This new development is the symbol of Sailor’s technology, quality and writing perfection gained with experience of almost 100 years. Each is individually numbered and limited to 28 pieces worldwide. Kaga Maki-e Artist - Kousen Oshita In the Meiji period of Japan, a Kaga Maki-e Artist Sekkou Oshita produced many great Kaga Maki-e works of art. his technique of Maki-e art was passed down to many generations of the Oshita family artists, and now to Kousen Oshita, the Fouth Generations.His clean yet delicate Maki-e style is ideal for Maki-e art on Tea Ceremonial tools and of course also fountain pens. Mr Oshita who resides in the Kaga region of Japan started to work with Maki-e designs on Sailor's fountain pens back in 1983. Many of his special works are exhibited in japan Traditional Craft Art and Design shows and several other private exhibitions.He is Certified Traditional Craft Artist by the Minister of International Tarde and Industry. He is Trustee of the Kaga Art Association.He is a member of Japan Crafts Councils-Ishikawa Branch. He is Organizer of the Tea Ceremony Association of Ishikawa Prefecture.