Smio Satou: Smooth Bent Dublin with Bamboo Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-142-0231

Sometimes a pipe makes me go all a bit squishy inside; this is one such pipe. Satou, both in terms of his pipes and in terms of himself and his lifestyle, strikes me as more traditionally Japanese than any one else that I've come to know well in Japan. Eschewing much that is associated with the modern world in Japan (some of which is very much imported from the west), he focuses on the traditional aspects of Japanese culture and embraces those. I frequently find myself finding elements of that outlook in his pipes, as they evoke traditional Shinto stylistic ideas, employ traditional Japanese methods and media (not least of which is his famous Urushi, Japanese natural lacquer, finish), and seem to emphasize simple, restrained forms, creating a sense of peacefulness and calmness in the composition, much like a traditional Japanese garden provides a welcome calming respite from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

This piece, seems to simultaneously embrace and eschew this aesthetic tradition. In many ways, the bowl is radical-- the shape explodes from a sharp point at the bottom, covered with dark red-stained flame grain, terminating into spectacularly tight birdseye on the rim. The stain makes it hard to photograph, so you'll simply have to rely on my description that it is as impressive as I say it is. And if you get it and think I'm wrong, you can send it back and I'll publicly apologize on the blog.

-- Sykes Wilford

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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 7.55 in./191.77 mm.
  • Weight: 1.40 oz./39.69 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.92 in./48.77 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.44 in./36.58 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.85 in./21.59 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 2.05 in./52.07 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Bent Dublin
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Japan
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