New show at Kodo Arts Japanese Antiques
Kodo Arts Japanese Antiques will introduce incense from four major Buddhist Temples from Kyoto, Japan at its upcoming 10th Year Kodo Arts Warehouse Show & Sale Oct. 8-16.
Along with many different incense burners and vessels, the world of Koudou, the Way of Incense comes to life during the show.
There are many types of incense in Japan but Kodo Arts will be focusing on religious incense or `Shojaku Senkoh` in Japanese. This type of incense is used in Buddhist temples when monks chant sutras or are in meditation training to measure time. The thickness and the length of the incense determines burn time. Kodo Arts will be featuring two types of incenses from Shokokuji Temple, one from Toji Temple and one from Daitokuji Temple.
The scent of incense has an important role in refined Japanese life. Used in ceremonies, at home or in temples, the burning of incense serves to purify, acts as a strong form of spiritual offering, or as a way to carry ones prayers to heaven. Incense appreciation (kodo) is also an art form like flower arrangement and tea ceremony.
The oldest historical record in Japan about incense dates back to 595. A large piece of aromatic agarwood drifted ashore on the tiny Japanese island of Awaji (in the Inland Sea near Osaka). Realizing the marvelous fragrance emanating from the log, island locals presented it as a gif to the imperial court.
However it is said that the origin of Japanese incense arrived in Japan with Buddhism before that. When incense was first introduced to Japan, it was used for Buddhist rituals. Later, the Buddhist monk from China, Ganjin, brought the way of blending incense. Since that time, incense started to wide spread amongst Japanese culture.
In the ninth century, incense soon found its way into the secular life of the imperial court. They blended incense by themselves and enjoyed creating their preferable scent. And by the l5th century, people gathered not only to enjoy the scent, but also cultivated spiritual culture through appreciation of incense.
Incense has always had a special place in Japanese culture, and was especially common in daily life until the turn of the century. In the Edo period (1603-1868), the form of stick incense was brought from China and was widely enjoyed amongst general people. Scents were used to welcome guests, and people carried a tiny silk bag of incense inside their kimono as a subtle form of self-expression.
These incenses will be available at the Kodo Arts Warehouse Show & Sale Oct. 8-16 at 571 Searls Ave., Nevada City, 10a.m. -6 p.m. daily. 530-478-0812. www. Kodo-arts.com
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