Our aim is to give our customers precious prayer time and genuine peace of mind through fragrance.
As the inheritor of traditional incense-making skills cultivated since the 16th century, we maintained and preserved the culture of incense.
Our focus goes beyond specialty fields, such as Buddhist memorial services and incense ceremony. It also extends to relaxation and health fields that apply fragrance’s functional aspects.
While also carrying on the wisdom and traditions of our forebears, we want to enrich people’s lives and minds with the power of fragrance by keeping in step with the times. We craft our products each and every day with this aim in mind.
Nippon Kodo’s products have unique fragrances. These fragrances come from tying together closely guarded preparation skills that are more than 400 years old with the sensitivities of modern perfumers. We inherited our skills through writings on the mixture of aromatic woods by Takai Juemon, an incense preparer who supplied the Emperor of Japan in the Tensho era (late 16th century). Perfumers with Japan’s best noses and instincts interpret and evolve that tradition to create exquisite fragrances.
Becoming a fully qualified incense craftsman takes a very long time. Skilled craftsmen must sense very slight differences in daily weather and air conditions and in natural aromatic materials and they must have sensitive hands capable of making tiny adjustments to the amount of moisture used in kneading. Incense craftsmen have acute senses and gentle hands. Soft, freshly kneaded incense cannot be cut easily. Incense bends and shrinks during drying, and is delicate, brittle, and easily broken when finished. An experienced craftsman carefully finishes each product with attention to all aspects of the production process : kneading, cutting, selection, and rolling.
We believe that passing on an intangible cultural activity requires practicing it with a mindset oriented toward preservation for future generations. At Nippon Kodo, we strive to convey the quality of Japan's beautiful traditions with the feeling of pride and respect. We hold lessons on incense burning and engage in activities designed to communicate the significance of Japan's traditional customs. We are taking Japanese tradition to the future in forms that fit with the times.
Valuable natural aromatic materials come from the goodness of the Earth. Even today, when materials can be hard to obtain, our researchers take it upon themselves to find and gather high-quality materials from around the world through our long-cultivated network. We create our incense by using these materials generously and effectively but more than simply using materials, we also engage in forestation and other forms of conservation in Southeast Asia to protect the environments from which they come.
We have established reproducible measurement methods for the world of incense making because we want people to use our incense with a sense of familiarity and peace of mind, which previously lacked safety standards. Using equipment that collects constituents in the air after incense are burned, we conduct regular safety tests with globally standardized measurement technology from Denmark.