All about tobacco and pipes in Edo culture.
After Columbus discovered the North American continent in 1492, tobacco use spread globally. About 100 years after this, Japan, at the end of its war period, was developing into a magnificent culture. To Japan, tobacco was not just a simple pleasure, but when guests were present, the 'tobacco tray' was an offering to be served even before Japanese tea. A unique japanese tobacco culture was forming.
"I was constantly amazed by the enthusiasm with which men, women and children smoked!"
From the diary of England's Hirado company president Cox. (?-1624) in 1613
After a while it was thought that smoking may be responsible for frequent fires in the capital city Edo, and the shogunate ordered a ban on smoking. " Any merchant caught making selling or buying tobacco will be imprisoned for 50 days and common folk for 30 days"
Keicho era 17th yr (1612)- Genwa 2nd yr (1616)
"Kiseru Gari"
Shortly after this in 1619 (5th yr of Genwa) from the 8th Shogun Yoshinobu era, the policy was converterd back to an increase in production of tobacco.
"kenka kiseru"
made from brass, copper and steel were fashionable smoking tools that could also be used as a simple weapon.
"Date kiseru" "Hanami kiseru"
were worn over the shoulder as a fashionable smoking accessory.
"Suitsuke tobacco"
Yoshihara mistresses (prostitutes) would attract business by using a long smoking pipe and would pass it through the lattice window to potential customers who peeked in.
"kiseru no ame"
In a famous kabuki play from Edo times, "Sukeroku Yukari no Edo Zakura", there are scenes of these mistresses passing long pipes to their customers. First played by kabuki actor Ichikawa Danjuro in 1713 (3rd year of seitoku). He became extremely popular due to this role.
" Tea ceremony and the tobacco tray"
The tobacco tray was placed where the guest was to be seated.
Provision of the tobacco tray
1. Before the tea ceremony begins (before entering the tea room)
2. when seated
3. After the strong tea(macha) is finished and a milder tea is served

During the ceremony 3 tobacco trays and their smoking tools are necessary.
"Being seated on the floor of the tea room, first i say that i want a light(for tobacco), then a beautiful woman places the tobacco tray on the floor in front of me.
It is fun to chat and joke lightly with her"
Motoi Nobunaga 1730-1801 from "Omoigusa"