Hiroyuki Tokutomi: Smooth Blowfish (Hiro) (BN)

Product Number: 002-141-1137

Hiroyuki Tokutomi's Blowfish have seldom stood still. I don't just mean that in the sense of a certain dynamic being possessed by each one, but also in the sense that over the years he's moved from variation to variation, occasionally revisiting some, but always turning a new corner before long. This particular, horizontally-oriented and sleek style, acute in its leading taper, is one of his most recent, first appearing in 2013. From what I've seen, I suspect it in fact originates from some of his vertical, sitter Blowfish designs, the type of bowl-form they took on simply having been turned in a new direction. (In fact, between the last sitter-Blowfish and the first sleek, horizontal Blowfish we saw, there was one Blowfish with a similar bowl oriented at a 45-degree angle.)

Background out of the way, what we find in this latest Tokutoki Blowfish is an organic asymmetry and natural motion combined with an architectural flavor to the underside's ridge and the paneling of the shank, somehow melding these very different things together without either clashing, or letting one blur and lose focus in favor of more clearly representing the other. To grasp for a metaphor, it's like the pattern-welded steel used by master weapon-smiths in ancient Europe, and originating amongst the Celts; the technique was valued for purposes both functional and decorative, and combined the most desirable aspects of flexibility and hardness found in the soft irons and brittle, high-carbon steels that were inseparably bonded together by it. Medieval Japanese blade-smiths, of course, are famous for having independently developed their own way of doing this.

What masters of a different art sought to produce in iron and steel, Hiroyuki Tokutomi has done with design, hard and soft, stiff and pliant combined - and combined beautifully.

- Eric N. Squires

Note: The "BN" accompanying this pipe's "Hiro" grade-stamp denotes that it was fashioned from a much-prized block of briar left to Hiroyuki Tokutomi by the late Bo Nordh.

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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 6.37 in./161.80 mm.
  • Weight: 1.89 oz./53.52 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.70 in./43.18 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.25 in./31.75 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.75 in./19.05 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.46 in./37.08 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Blowfish
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Japan
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