Saturday, January 9, 2010
Featured Pipe Smoker (Fictional): Madame Torogai
Madame Torogai is a character from the anime series Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit. She is a very old and petite woman who is a very wise and knowledgeable shaman and is able to communicate with spirit-beings using the medium of water. She is also a very skilled herbalist, and a walking encyclopedia of the medicinal and metaphysical uses of the plants of her world.
Although she has a very gruff exterior, she is ferociously loyal to those she has chosen to befriend and will not hesitate to put her life on the line to protect them. She is also brutally honest and doesn't keep her opinions to herself--not even being afraid to speak her mind in the presence of the royal family, who are considered as gods by the common people. She enjoys smoking her pipe during moments of relaxation, and enjoys getting rip-roaring drunk on rare occasions when her task is complete and all is set right with the world.
Torogai's pipe is made of a long, curved bamboo stem with a bowl made of some other material. Considering the Oriental background of this story, the bowl is probably made of some kind of metal, although its pale coloration argues against copper. It may be clay. In either case, her fingers must be totally heat-proof to be able to hold it the way she does.