Born in 1955, native of Tokyo. His previous life was a well decorated Film and Graphic Designer. Since 2007, as fate says under the guidance of Shizuo Arita and Shigeyoshi Yanagihara embark on pipe crafting as a second career.
Drawing from other genre of smoking culture such as shisha and similar paraphernalia he makes you wonder and reconsider what smoking pipe actually is about. At most part, he would say the experience, the quality of smoke (moisture, flavour, and temperature) while using something that we can appreciate aesthetically. His work set boundaries free and invite smokers to be more universal and uniting at one point: on the flavour of tobacco and the experience of drawing a smoke.
For inspiration, he goes to the same park most of the time. He picks up elements of nature that he saw interesting. "Nature is different everytime we visit." says Tatsuo-san. It is alive. Some days, even hours, leaning more towards the sun. It might be blooming, or fallen to the ground. There are movement.
Not only a naturalist in approach but artificial landscape and man-made creation also inspire him. NASA space shuttle to construction site digging gave him inspiration. I just called it simply being a Japanese and their fascination of robots and mechanical wonders. If his pipe is a painting, his expression would be Dali kind of surrealism.
Capturing nature in his own way, it could often be more realistic as a result.
Rather than just a volcano, why not the whole mountain? or maybe even with the beach? and also the 'wind' and perhaps the bird too?
- Mountain, Beach, and Landscape
Often you will see his combination of modernism and retro being executed with Wabi Sabi aesthetic. Also, behind that artistic styling and unique structure, he is always on the exploration on the new experience of smoking, when possible contribute to the health aspect. Such as the use of reverse calabash and longer shank to decrease moisture and cool down the smoke due to longer travel.
- Snail & Slug Series
In life, he drinks tea throughout the year, warm Oolong Tea in winter and cold Mugichain summer. He drinks no alcohol. By all means, I have tried with both tea or alcohol, and his pipes still smokes like a dream. He is also in touch almost on a daily basis with a retired senior pipemaker, Shigeyoshi Yanagihara.
- Retro and Quaint Shapes
Tatsuo Tajima, currently resides in Tokyo, lives quite close with his teacher and friend, Yanagihara-san. His current pipe production is about 60 pipes a year.
Website: Tatu Pipe
Retailer of his pipe: