As you all know, Sixten Ivarsson is responsible for turning the eye of the pipe world toward Denmark, the aftermath of which yielded the unquestionably influential Danish Revolution in pipe making during the 1960s and 1970s, and really every decade that proceeded it since. Tokutomi-san was one of the carvers who trained directly with Ivarsson (76-77), considered among the first tier of the school, along with the likes of his son, Lars Ivarsson, Bo Nordh and Jess Chonowitsch: all going on to do great things: all considered amongst the best carvers in the world. Each having their own interpretations of the great master's work. Chonowitsch, for instance, was fairly conservative in execution, staying closest to his father's aesthetic, while Nordh played more the rebel, though still firmly grounded in the fundamentals of traditional Danish pipemaking. Tokutomi, stayed true to Sixten and the Danish modern, but didn't deny his cultural roots either, overlaying centuries of Japanese aesthetics against the inherently minimalist, Western aesthetics, working to bridge the gap, so to speak.
The Acorn is a classic shape which translates particularly well to organic and naturalistic designs, as it is inherently based upon a natural form - this piece, so close as to be ripe enough to be picked off the vine - and yet, it is one of the most seldom seen shapes from Tokutomi. Here, he once again is reciting the lessons of his master, Ivarsson, but in a murmured sotto voce. Remove the two knuckles of bamboo, and sandblast the stummel, and this pipe could have been laid with the Danish estates. At once, this pipe is very similar in orientation and proportions to a classical Danish rendition, but because of the asymmetrical bulb of a bowl and simple, hanging gesture - by way of the handling of bowl-form and transition - it is still a serenade to the Japanese aesthetic, which echos beautifully in accents like the ivory and bamboo shank.