Hiroyuki Tokutomi: Smooth Cavalier Blowfish (Hiro) Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-141-0409

In the traditional Western view of pipe shaping, even amongst modernists, asymmetrical shapes needed to be grounded by something solidly symmetrical in order to avoid visual chaos. In mid 2003, Tokutomi-san took the revolutionary step of divorcing the organic from the ridgidly symmetrical and utilizing in it's stead opposing forms, repetition of shapes, and inspired use of implied space to pull a piece into compositional harmony. In late 2004 Toku started to imbue some of his larger compositions (Dancers, Cavalier Blowfish) by anchoring his organically balanced bowls with more quieting, recognizable shapes. Rather than hike back to the Western sensibility of grounding with a highly symmetrical shank, Toku used shapes and forms found in traditional Japanese arts and crafts (Katachi)to provide a secondary visual solidity. The effects were stunning.

This Hiro Grade Cavalier Blowfish has a bowl that appears canted to the left, from the perspective of the smoker, which is compositionally offset by allowing a larger, more vertical convexity to the right, as well as a creation of a small fin on the lower rear of the same. To refer to this pipe's birdseye and cross cut grain as "amazing" would be a gross understatement. Anchoring this highly organic bowl is a wide, six panel vulcanite foot. The planes that find their genesis in the foot are then carried through boxwood, the briar of the main body, into boxwood, and finally into a gorgeous piece of cocobolo. Looking at this pipe in its totality, I only have one complaint: their incredible scarcity.

--Bear Graves

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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 6.03 in./153.16 mm.
  • Weight: 4.32 oz./122.47 g.
  • Bowl Height: 3.19 in./81.03 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.80 in./45.72 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.76 in./19.30 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.65 in./41.91 mm.
  • Stem Material: n/a
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Cavalier
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Japan