NIPPON KODO - A BIT OF HISTORY
The burning of incense as a "mystical aroma
" during religious ceremonies was introduced in the Japanese archipelago by the Buddhist monks as early as the 8th century.
The burning of "Koh
" (the Japanese name for incense sticks) spread throughout the Japanese aristocracy only a few centuries later; in this new area, this practice served to promote a kind of "transcendental illumination
The pinnacle of incenseís popularity among the middle-upper classes of Japanese society - both as an element of social distinction and as a remedy - arrived toward the end of the
" period, when the first Samurai warriors were said to fumigate their helmets and suits of armour with incense as a preparatory ritual towards their destiny before going into battle.
It is precisely around this time (about 1575) that the history of Nippon Kodo originated from the eminent artisan perfumer Jyuemon Takai (official supplier of the imperial court of rare and precious fragrances, better known under the pseudonym of "Koju
"); many of his precious incenses are still produced today according to original formulations created by him, as well as according to subsequent reworked versions made during the period of the
" restoration - 19th century - by the famous Japanese "fragrance genius
" Yujiro Kito.
Moved by the desire to keep the ancient traditions of Japanese culture alive and maintaining the firm conviction that making an incense stick according to a precise philosophy is a "commendable act of creation of beauty
", Nippon Kodo, after centuries of high-class
craftsmanship, transformed itself in 1942 into a large transnational company.
In the contemporary age, having likely scaled down the purely ritual and/or esoteric aspects linked to the use of incense, the desire emerges - especially
in the West - to manifest, through the use of this product, a certain lifestyle undoubtedly connected to the search for spiritual wellbeing: it is therefore easy to understand how refinement
The term "Zen
" is the Japanese transposition of the Sanskrit phrase "Dhyana
"; it literally means "vision
", often expressed also as "meditation
" (understood as "state of perfect equanimity and awareness
Dhyana was widely practiced in Buddhism, Hinduism and
Jainism with the goal of achieving "Enlightenment
", a condition perceived as absolute mental purity, reunion with God and also as "opening of the third eye
" (or of the "sixth Chakra").
Lighting an incense stick before immersing oneself in the silence of Zen meditation is a useful gesture not only for its mystical value, but also as a small personal ritual aimed at unconsciously preparing body, mind and breathing for this precise moment that is worth an eternity.
The studies on the different types of memory conducted by the neurosciences rationally demonstrate how incense
and its ritual
positively influence inner recollection, thus revealing its concrete usefulness
. Indeed, the smell of incense
stimulates the olfactory memory, which is a long-term memory, rooted in the subconscious and therefore very precise. No other sensory cognition is as resistant to the passage of time and/or capable of evoking the past, since odours are archived following a holistic principle which, by its very nature, guarantees individuality and mutual independence to olfactory memories. Once consolidated, the memories of odours
are not easy to change
In order for our nervous system to recognise and embrace the ritual/fragrance
combination as a signal of the start of this specific practice, it is a good idea
to light the incense stick repeating the same gestures every time but, above all, to use a quality of incense
that doesnít produce a lot of smoke
, like Japanese incense
; in addition to not containing wood, Japanese incense is particularly appropriate
for the practice of the Zen discipline
as well as for meditation in general.
As is easy to imagine, in one of the leading economies of the planet - like Japan - the safeguarding of health
is naturally an essential criterion
: this obviously holds true also for these famous incenses which, in addition to being made with ingredients selected following strict regulations
, are duly checked
during the various production phases in order to be able to guarantee with certainty the absence of adverse effects
(even hypothetical) during use
; all of this is shown by the suitability of the labelling in accordance with
", labelling found, when necessary, on all packages legally imported into Europe.
>P.S.: it is understood that any negative consequences resulting from irresponsible use of the product (example: excessive amount in an unventilated environment/room, placing within the reach of children while burning, swallowing, burns, etc.) cannot be included among the guarantees and/or the legal responsibilities of the manufacturer