When it comes to pipe making, Japanese legend Smio Satou is renowned for 'sweating the details'. In a world where a coat of carnauba wax suffices for the final coat of a pipe for nearly every carver, Satou instead searched for something better. Turning to the remarkable wood furniture which is a signature of his home, he discovered that the special resin used to seal the final product breathed as well as, if not far better than, carnauba, and held its luster for much longer. How long? According to the master, once out of his shop, the pipe might well never require wax again.
Besides boasting a remarkable resin, the pipe is beautiful in its own right. The slight camber of the rim along with the elegantly short bamboo shank combine to create a piece that retains a classic, refined, restrained Japanese character. All in all, from the grain to the shape, this is an extraordinary pipe from a superb pipe maker.
-- Ted Swearingen