From Shizuo's website:
1976, in these days, pipe smoking was a little boom because of the reason that it was better for health than smoking the cigarettes in Japan.
The pipes which I started smoking from 20 years old became quite a number, and I completed a fine pipe in one day out of the first hand made pipe-kit which was presented by my wife on my 40th birthday.
Since then, I was absorbed in making pipes and made more than 2,000 pipes in 30 years. These pipes are in favored with many Japanese pipe smokers.
I was born in 1935 and am 71 years (2006) old. I was in business for 40 years, and besides I have been making pipes for 20 years. 8 years ago, I retired from business and could have more free time and became to be able to enjoy many hobbies. Pipe making is also one of my hobbies and it is not the purpose to obtain an income, but is a creative activity aiming at making a pipe.
I make about 100 pipes in one year. Since I enjoy making pipes, I am not going to make more. It seems that many pipe-makers decide his own shape and design, and make it repeatedly. But in my case, pipe making is a creation which asks for the enjoyment, and I am pursuing always new design.
About a good pipe for me
Hand made pipe is a tool for smoking tobacco. But I think the pipe which has fine grain of briar and is designed beautiful shape, further gives you satisfaction of wonderful feeling when you touch, is an art. I believe the pipe is close to ceramic art which has firm status as an art , and the requirements for such pipes are;
1.To use for long years, trouble-free precision and construction, and a procurement of good briar.
2. Tobacco to be nice taste, for that the shape of bowl, diameter of flue, flow of smoke, etc. to be taken in consideration.
3. Quality of briar and grain to be good, and flawless.
4. Grain to be expressed clearly and design composed of beautiful stream of curved lines , matching grain.
5. The pipe, not getting tired of, the more you use, the more you get used to, becoming attached to it and can not part with.
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