The Japanese word “Ikebana” means “living flowers,” which is rather appropriate, as the artisan-made Ikebana pipes by Tsuge have been reputed for decades as elegant things of beauty. “ikebana” also refers to the centuries-old, high art of floral arrangement. This art form originated in the 1600’s and was derivative of a spiritual practice by Buddhist monks and was to be done in silence and appreciation. Much like these flower arrangements, each Ikebana pipe is hand-made by one of three highly skilled artisans in a ritualistic fashion, with each pipe unfolding into a unique, orchid-like creation.
The Ikebana pipes are made in the “Danish way,” but with very strong, often asymmetric, Japanese aesthetics. Each being unique, one can often find plateau (the outer bark of the briar), cow horn and Japanese bamboo adorning these high-grade pieces. Each stem is hand cut from ebonite rod and polished to a mirror-like finish.
The newest addition to the Ikebana team is Yoshirou Ohi. An accomplished pipe maker of many years, Ohi joined the Tsuge family in 2014 and brings a slightly more eccentric aesthetic to the Ikebana line. While each pipe maker certainly has their own look, Ohi’s work gravitates toward movement and out-of-the-box asymmetry with his flowing lines and interesting shape concepts. Still keeping and maintaining a Japanese organic appearance, his work stands out as different among the 3 artisans.
Addon Notes: The SG Kendal Plug (under the Unicorns addon menu) is a full cellophane wrapped unit from the factory from the Summer shipment of 2020. The shrink wrapped plug was taken out of the shipping box and placed in a mylar bag for storage. The units were 250g minimum, but some portions were reported up to 300g or larger. This is one of those legendary 300g plugs.