Japanese incense may not be as popular as Indian incense, but this centuries old tradition has developed its own identity. This type of incense is said to relax you and help create a serene atmosphere. Some people use it as part of a ritual and others use it to add a little ambiance to their surroundings. With such a variety of fragrances, there is definitely a perfect one out there for you. It also makes the perfect unique gift for someone else.
Japanese incense is also used in everyday life as well. You can use it to freshen and brighten an area as well as for medicinal purposes. In creating your own serene space we shouldn’t overlook the wonderful and powerful sense of smell. We tend to take it for granted, but many memories and feelings are triggered by fragrances.
There many different varieties of incense including strong, light, and sweet fragrances, as well as some that do not give off smoke (for people like my wife who are sensitive to the smoke). “Shoyeido” is one such 300-year-old Japanese company that makes quality incense and has extensively supplied Zen temples throughout the ages. The burning of incense has also become a stylized traditional art form, called Kodo – The way of Fragrance. Even as this art form developed, incense has been associated with meditation for centuries throughout the world.
Japanese incense came from China along with Buddhism in the year 538. It has become a part of daily use in Japan and is growing in North America. Many of the ingredients also come from different parts of the world, like South-East Asia and India. Two of the most important ingredients in Japanese incense are Agarwood (Jinko) and Sandalwood (Byakudan). Sandalwood is particularly used in incense for meditation. Selected for their wonderful fragrance as well as use in traditional Chinese Medicine, called Kanpo-yaku, some of the other ingredients usually found are frankincense, cinnamon, rhubarb, licorice, borneo camphor, patchouli etc.
Many people also burn incense at home privately to aid in meditation. It both creates the atmosphere as well as signals the duration of the meditation session. Good incense companies will say about how long a stick will burn for. Whether meditating or not, any home can benefit from the serene and mysterious fragrances of Japanese incense. With very affordable prices and some beautifully arranged gift sets, this type of incense makes the perfect gift for anyone.