A unique tobacco pipe, unlike anywhere else in the world is in use in Japan. This is the kiseru, a tobacco pipe made of metal characterized by a small funnel-shaped or bowl-shaped bowl and a metal mouthpiece with a bamboo stem in between. As a variation, all metal kiserus are made in one piece. The bowl is so tiny that smoking it to the end only takes a few puffs. So, the pipe has no time to heat up. This underlines the smoking habit of the Japanese, which consists of stopping, lighting, inhaling a few puffs and knocking the pipe out. Instead of quietly puffing away, it is more about the ritual.
The Japanese pipe smokers were looking for an optimal taste experience. Gold is considered the ultimate material, it is completely neutral and therefore perfectly tasteless. Hence, exclusive kiserus have a solid gold bowl interior for optimal taste. Silver comes second, brass and copper only after.
Since the kiseru is the standard pipe in Japan, there are examples in every quality. The cheapest version is undecorated brass. Slightly more luxurious pipes have an engraved or inlaid decoration. If the quality is again higher, silver and gold will appear as inlay. At the same time, the bamboo also changes from white to speckled or gets a burnt-in decoration.
The most luxurious kiserus are real showpieces and decorative objects. It is the status item par excellence, with embossed silver relief work of dragons and tigers. Despite the beautiful decorations, the pipe is carelessly knocked out on a metal ashtray to a point that it creates dents in the stem. Sometimes so much so that the stem base becomes deformed.