Tobacco pouch


Tobacco Pouch 刻み煙草入れ

They were a necessity of the gentleman during the Edo period and come in many varieties.
Some have a Daruma as a decoration clip, some have a Daruma as a Netsuke.

kiseru, see below


Japanese forms of smoking accessories

Tobacco made its earliest appearance in human culture amid the highly developed pre-Columbian civilizations of the Americas. During the sixteenth century, the plant and its uses became known in other parts of the world as well. About 1600, tobacco arrived in Japan, where it led to the creation of new and artistically significant forms of material culture.

Tobacco pouches
Tobacco pouches began as simple portable contains for small amounts of tobacco, but their usefulness and efficiency were increased when ways were devised to combine them with pipe-cases and other practical or ornamental components.
During the Edo period,two general categories could be differentiated according to the ways in which they were worn.

"Hanging" tobacco-pouches were slung from the narrow sashes worn by men of the plebeian classes at the time, while "pocket" cases, carried in the upper folds of the kimono, were more practical for women and for male members of the upper social strata.

© Tobacco and Salt Museum With more details on Smoking Utensils !


Here is one with a Daruma Netsuke.

About 24 cm wide. Netsuke about 1 cm only.

Photo from my friend Ishino.

. . . CLICK here for Photos !


vesta case matchbox Daruma
Vesta cases, vesta boxes, or pocket match safes or matchsafes
were small portable boxes, made in a great variety of forms/shapes, each with snapshut covers to contain vestas (short matches) and retain the matches’ desiccant quality[clarification needed] to a maximum.
- wikipedia


The long pipes for smoking, kiseru 煙管

- source : 魔女と煙の魔法 -
Oiran kiseru 花魁煙管 pipe for a high-ranking courtesan

The word KISERU comes from the Khmer language of Cambodia, "ksher".

CLICK for more photos ! Kiseru pipes (Edo period)
As tobacco-shredding techniques became more refined, pipe-bowls grew smaller, and pipe-stems were shortened, resulting in a more readily portable pipe form.
Metal fittings were often decorated with engraving, while the embellishment of pipe-stems with lacquer-painting further enhanced the value of kiseru pipes as personal accessories.
While standard kiseru had bamboo stems garnished with metal bowls and mouth-pieces, some more extra-vagant kiseru were made entirely of metal.
Other materials in use included wood, porcelain, glass, and stone.
 © www.jti.co.jp/Culture/

- quote

doo  胴 body
gankubi  雁首  "goose neck", shank
hizara   火皿 "fire bowl"
kuchimoto 口元 lip
rau   羅宇  stem
suikuchi   吸口 mouthpiece

- Main types of kiseru
Rau kiseru 羅宇きせる (or Rau giseru 羅宇ぎせる)
There are different styles of « rau kiseru », the three main styles are :
- Sekishū 石州 :
- Joshin 女信 :
- Kōdaiji 光大寺

Nobe kiseru 延べきせる or nobe giseru 延べぎせる
Tazuna 手網 twisted body
Natamame 鉈豆 ou 刀豆
- source : kiseru-pipe.com/en/

- - - Kabuki actors holding the pipe :

- source : tsugepipe.co.jp/kiseru... -

There is a proverb

gankubi soroete dete koi
Come out immediately with all the "gankubi" in line!

CLICK for more samples of kiseru pipes !

rauya, raoya 羅宇屋 repairman of tobacco pipes

The word RAU derived from Laos (raosu), the country, where the first pipes came from (beside Cambodia).

They looked different in Edo (back) and Osaka - Kamigata (front).

He exchanged the sooty middle part (rau) made of sedge grass (suge 菅) and was thus also called "sugekae"すげ替え, or rau no sugekae ラウのすげ替え.
He walked around carrying exchange parts and tools to clean the pipes, calling
rauyaaa, kisseruuuu 『ラオヤー、キセルッ』.

The repairman in Edo had one large box carried on both shoulders.
In Kamigata he carried two smaller boxes on a pole.

source : www.gakken.co.jp/kagakusouken


tabako uri, tabako-uri 煙草売り selling tobacco in Edo

He carried a wooden box on his back with many drawers, for different kinds of tobacco.
There were various Chinese characters to be read

TA BA KO 多葉粉 / 田葉粉 / 金絲烟 and our modern 煙草.

source : edokurashi.hatenablog.com/entry - 渡辺京二


kiseruya 煙管屋 making long pipes

- quote -
The Edo period (1603-1868) that precedes the development of cigarettes in Japan was the heyday of kiseru. From the early seventeenth century when the bans were lifted, tobacco was already well established in all classes as a luxury good. It was at this time that really developed the use of kiseru and the socalled "kizami tobacco", a very finely shredded tobacco.

In the Edo period there was in the high society the "Tobacco Ceremony" or "The Way of Tobacco" (tabako-dō 烟草道). As for the tea ceremony, for example, rules of politeness and decorum were fixed. It was the "good manners to give and receive the kiseru" ("キセルの請取渡(うけとり わたし)の礼").
Here's how the rules were set: - snip -
Around mid-Edo, the Japanese started to want smoking outside their homes. To do so, and carry their kiseru they developed different accessories like "tabako-ire.". When finishing their studies, they would receive a "tabako-ire" reward. These are usually hung on the belt of the kimono and thus they became a social sign : young people could show them off and tell everyone "see, I'm adult" !
- snip -
It also became very fashionable to have a silver "nobe kiseru". It was an essential fashion accessory for young people from rich houses.
The presence of kiseru in many woodblock prints of the Edo period attests to the importance of this object in the daily life in that period.
But from the mid-nineteenth century to the end of the Edo period, cigarettes imported from the West and Russia became increasingly popular.
- snip -
- Kiseru Festival
This is anecdotal, but interesting : every year, on the first Sunday of September, is held in Ibaraki region an amazing Kiseru Festival "Kiseru Matsuri" in which men carry in the mountains a huge kiseru (60 kg, 2.6 meters long, 28 cm diameter), with Shinto rituals. This festival is held every year on Mount Kaba-san, in Ishioka since 1954, after the tobacco crops in the area were "miraculously" saved from heavy hail.

A massive 3.5-meter kiseru made of bamboo and tin by the peasants was then given as an offering at the local Shinto shrine. Ten years later, in 1964, a magnificent kiseru was crafted by the famous Murata factory who wanted to offer this symbolic kiseru to the local deity before stopping the production of its famous kiseru.
- source : kiseru-pipe.com/en/content -


. chinko kiri 賃粉切り cutting leaf tobacco for money .

. Doing Business in Edo - 江戸の商売 .

Woman exhaling smoke from a kiseru pipe
kiseru no kemuri o fuku onna
Kitagawa Utamaro 喜多川歌麿

『和漢百物語 小野川喜三郎 Onogawa Kisaburo (1758 - 1806)
Sumo wrestler from Omi.
by 芳年 Yoshitoshi

- quote -
Onogawa Kisaburō (小野川喜三郎, 1758 – April 30, 1806)
was a sumo wrestler from Ōtsu, Shiga Prefecture, Japan. He was the sport's 5th yokozuna. Along with Tanikaze he was the first to be given a yokozuna licence by the House of Yoshida Tsukasa and the first to perform the dohyō-iri to promote sumo tournaments.
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !

- source : jti.co.jp/tobacco-world/journal -

CLICK for more ukiyo-e about the kiseru pipe!


Long pipes were also used in other parts of Asia.
Here is a sample from Mongolia:

Mongolian long-pipe with a precious stone mouthpiece
- shared by Zaya Nergui - FB -


hana saku ya date ni kuwaeshi kara giseru

cherry blossoms--
playing the dandy, in my mouth
an empty pipe

kuwae giseru muyô de mo nashi kado yanagi

pipe in my mouth--
smoking's allowed here
by my gate's willow

Sarumaru Dayū
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

sarumaru ga kiseru kuwaete ume no hana

Lord Monkey chews
on a pipe ...
plum blossoms

Sarumaru ("Lord Monkey") was the unflattering name given to a Japanese poet of the Heian period, based on his monkey-like face. In medieval Japanese drama, the name was used to refer to the actor in charge of lion dances, juggling and acrobatics.

More PIPE haiku ...
Tr. David Lanoue

CLICK for more pipe photos


kigo for mid-autumn

omoigusa 思草 (おもいぐさ) "remembering plant"
..... nanbangiseru, nanban kiseru 南蛮煙管(なんばんぎせる)
"pipe of Southern Babarians"

kiserugusa, kiseru kusa きせる草(きせるぐさ)
"kiseru pipe plant"

Aeginetia indica

CLICK for more photos


CLICK for more photos !

samidare ya senkô tateshi tabako bon

rainy season --
sticks of incense stand
on the pipe-smoking tray

Tr. Chris Drake

tabako-bon - pipe-smoking tray or set, literally "tobacco tray"

This hokku is from the fifth month (June) of 1818, when Issa was in and around his hometown. The term samidare in the first line is a poetic word for the rainy season that usually begins in early June and continues to around the middle of July -- roughly corresponding to the fifth lunar month, although the overlap isn't exact. During the rainy season, more prosaically called tsuyu and other words, it rains often and long, and even on days when it doesn't rain it is often cloudy, and the humidity is high, so houses and shops become damp and musty, even when the sliding doors in the walls are kept open. One of the chief ways people dealt with moldy smells in Issa's time was by lighting sticks of incense and standing them in ash-filled urns or bowls. Then, after the rainy season was over, they would take every damp object in the house out into the yard for sunning.

In the hokku someone brings out a pipe-smoking set to entertain a customer or guest, perhaps in a shop or teahouse or at a home. The set, literally a "tobacco tray," usually consisted of a tray or a small portable chest of drawers on which were placed two long reed pipes with metal bowl and mouthpiece, an ash-filled urn holding live charcoal embers, a metal bowl to hold an ember for lighting your pipe, a container to hold ashes from the smoker's pipe, one or more containers of finely chopped tobacco, metal tongs, and paper for cleaning the pipes. In the hokku, the person who has brought out the pipe-smoking set for his guest and is inviting him to smoke seems to be making an effort to be extremely polite during the musty rainy season, since in the ash-filled urn holding the live embers also stand sticks of burning incense.

Chris Drake

ao-kusaki tabako fukakeru aki no kaze

strong tobacco smell
blowing over me --
autumn wind

This hokku is from the beginning of the 8th lunar month (the middle of September) in 1817, when Issa was traveling around visiting students near his hometown. Shinano was one of the areas in Japan in Issa's time where tobacco was grown, in spite of the fact that it had officially been made illegal in the 17th century after being brought to Japan by the Portuguese in the 16th century. Because growing tobacco was officially illegal, Japanese farmers discreetly opened up new fields for their tobacco crops in addition to their rice fields, often in the mountains or in the midst of wooded areas. Apparently the law wasn't vigorously enforced, since pipe smoking was popular all over Japan, especially in urban areas, and pipes were often available even at teahouses. Even Issa sometimes smoked a pipe. Drying or curing the leaves usually took place in the 7th and/or 8th lunar months.

In the hokku Issa seems to be going by the field of a farmer who also grows tobacco. It must be fair weather, and the cut tobacco leaves are being dried in the sun, probably by being hung up on ropes resembling clotheslines strung between poles, though the leaves will he hung up indoors on rainy days. The drying period is almost over, so the leaves must be turning from yellow to brown by now, and their strong smell is carried on the west wind. In fall the wind usually blows longer and harder than earlier, so Issa may be suggesting a slight bit of distance. The adjective he uses for the smell of the tobacco literally means "green-smelling," which is a metaphorical expression meaning 'strong, rank,' or sometimes 'slightly offensive, smelly.' Some Japanese-English dictionaries give 'raw.'

Common examples in Issa's time would be the strong smell of milk, beans, or luxuriant wild plants or grass. Japanese seem to be generally more sensitive to strong smells than Americans and Europeans, and strong cheeses aren't very popular in Japan, though mild cheeses are becoming popular. I recently saw an advertisement for a brand of tofu than proudly declared that the strong ("green") smell of soybeans had been almost completely eliminated. In Issa's case, he seems to feel that the smell of many leaves all drying together is quite strong. Still-damp tobacco leaves are sometimes said to give off a slightly ammonia-like smell, so that might be the case here, since Japan usually gets a fair amount of rain in the fall.

It's not impossible that the leaves are being smoked in a pipe, though it seems a little early for that. Issa has one other hokku about smelly tobacco from many years earlier, and in it some unkind people in Edo blow smoke on a blossoming cherry tree, but in the present hokku it is the wind that is blowing the smell, so if this is tobacco from a pipe or pipes perhaps Issa is walking past a teahouse and suddenly gets a small cloud of strong-smelling smoke right in the face.

The middle line has eight syllables. The extra syllable seems to stress the strength and invasive quality of the smell. The eight 'k' sounds also suggest sharpness or perhaps unpleasantness.

Chris Drake

. Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 in Edo .


. Tabako 煙草 tobacco, Tabak and kigo



Unknown said...



Gabi Greve - Issa said...

Kobayashi Issa

harukaze ni ni ban tabako no keburi kana

in the spring breeze
my second pipe's
(tr. David Lanoue)

Gabi Greve said...

for details

What is a kiseru ?


Rau kiseru 羅宇きせる (or Rau giseru 羅宇ぎせる)

The "Rau kiseru" are made of three parts : suikuchi "mouthpiece", rau "stem" (usually made of bamboo or wood) and gankubi "shank"), unlike « nobekiseru » which are made of a single part.


Gabi Greve - Kappa said...

Tobacco Pouch 煙草入れ Kappa smoking - Pfeife rauchen

Kappa the Water goblin and tobacco

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

senryu about
ikakeya 鋳掛屋 / 鋳掛け屋 / いかけや  tinker, repairing metal tools, pots and pans
ikakeshi 鋳掛け師
nabe ikake suteppen kara tabako ni shi

a pot for the tinker -
but first he takes a smoke
from his pipe

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

fukuromonoya 袋物屋 shop for bags and pouches
fukuromono tonya 袋物問屋 pouches wholesaler
fukuromonoshi 袋物師 / 嚢物師 making bags and pouches

Gabi Greve said...

Legend from Hokkaido, 松前街道 Matsumae
reija 霊蛇 "spirit snake"
In the year 1823, the wife of 立之助 Ryunosuke from Ahinoma village was simple and not greedy.
In the sixth lunar month when she worked in the fields, she found a lot of kozen 古銭 old coins. She kept working in the fields but then took some coins home.
On her way back home, a small snake followed her, but was not to be seen any more when she was home.
When Ryunosuke heard this, he checked the basket for carrying soil, there was a small snake inside. He killed the snake with his kiseru キセル metal pipe.
Then he went out to the field, hoping to find more coins, but did not find anything. This was because he had killed the serpent.
キセル 14 to explore