The Fragrant Path: An Introduction to Japanese Incense

The Fragrant Path

With centuries of refinement, the subject of Japanese incense is as rich as it is fragrant. The appreciation of Japanese incense has a learning curve that is as steep or as gradual as an individual's own tastes. Our Introduction to Japanese Incense series is intended to help provide greater information and understanding as you progress along The Fragrant Path.

An Introduction to Japanese Incense:

    I. The Origins of Japanese Incense Culture:
          1. Tang China's Buddhist Influence
          2. The Rise of the Samurai
          3. Mongols, Zen, and Bushido
          4. Higashiyama Culture
          5. Three Geido
          6. Southern Barbarians
          7. The Fool, the Monkey, and the Badger
          8. The Floating World

          II. Japanese Incense Ingredients:

            1. Koboku 香木- Fragrant Woods
            2. Rikkoku Gomi 六国五味 - Traditional Aloeswood Classification
            3. Traditional Spices
            4. Classic Aromatic Resins
            5. Aromatic Plant Materials
            6. Aromatic Roots
            7. Pungent Aromatics
            8. Making Senko (Stick Incense)
            9. Sustainability

              III. Using Japanese Incense:

                1. How to Use Japanese Incense
                2. Incense Safety Precautions
                3. Japanese Incense Holders & Koro 香炉
                4. Three Simple Practices for Storing Japanese Incense
                5. The 10 Virtues of Koh

                  IV. Appreciating Japanese Incense:

                  1. Mon-Koh 聞香 - Listening to Incense
                  2. The Listening Environment
                  3. Ichi-go Ichi-e
                  4. Emptiness
                  5. Kodo 香道
                  6. Kumiko 組香
                  7. Genji-mon 源氏紋

                  V. Selecting Japanese Incense

                    1. Why Japanese Incense? Four Reasons
                    2. Types of Japanese Incense
                    3. Categories of Japanese Incense
                    4. Everyday vs. Premium Japanese Incense
                    5. Traditional vs. Modern
                    6. 10 Japanese Incenses to Start With