Incense Ceremony ...

Like tea ceremony and flower arrangement, Koh-do, or incense ceremony is an important tradition in Japan. Incense ceremony is traditionally carried out in the Koh room, with a master of ceremonies, and a small group of participants. Most incense ceremonies involve a game, in which participants attempt to guess which scent is being burned.There are hundreds of variations of these incense games.
Overall, incense ceremony is about having fun with fragrance, and learning to 'listen' to incense. You do not have to be an experienced 'nose' to enjoy Koh-do. The important thing is to appreciate the incense.


The above information is from Shoeyido.


How to Create Fragrance from Wood Chips.

Method 1 "Soradaki"
Soradaki means 'Appreciating Incense'. This method is typically used to scent a small area, by heating the wood chips over charcoal.
1. Ignite the corner of a piece of charcoal by using a match or lighter. Place the charcoal on top of the ash and wait until it becomes greyish-white in color.
2. When half of the charcoal has turned greyish-white, cover it with a thin layer of ash.
3. Place wood chip directly over the heated part of the ash. (It's best to heat the wood chips over hot ash rather than burning them directly on the charcoal).

Please note:
• For best results, use wood chips that are approximately 1/4" wide.
• You should not reuse the ash for "Incense Ceremony" or "Mon-koh," as the scent from the wood chips may remain in the ash and change the fragrance.
•  You may enjoy joss stick incense, granulated incense and kneaded incense by using this same method.

Method 2 "Mon-Koh"
Mon-koh means 'Listening to Incense'. This method involves using ceremonial charcoal (Koh-tadon) and a mica plate to heat, rather than burn, the incense.

1. Light the ceremonial charcoal completely by using a gas stove or electric range until it becomes greyish-white.

2. Using metal incense chopsticks, loosen the ash and place the charcoal in the center.

3. Gently gather the ash around the charcoal and make a small mound over it.

4.Use the ash press to lightly pack the ash over the charcoal.

5. Using the incense chopstick, make an air/heat hole.

6. Place the mica plate over the air hole by using the silver tweezers.

7. Place wood chips on the mica plate by using the incense chopsticks.

8. Enjoy the fragrance!

Please note:
• You may need to adjust the depth of the charcoal and the amount of ash covering it for proper heating (to avoid burning the wood chips).

For this method, use a matchstick size wood chip, approximately 1/8" square.
• For safety, keep the bowl in an upright position to assure the contents do not shift.
• You may enjoy joss stick incense, granulated incense and kneaded incense by using this same method.
• To extinguish the charcoal: Pick up the charcoal with the metal chopsticks, and carefully drop it in a bowl filled with water. Caution: After use, the ash and bowl become very hot for an extended period of time. Do not put the used ash into a trash can until it has completely cooled down to room temperature. Ash can be reused many times with this method.

The above information is from Shoeyido.



LINKS TO CEREMONY TOOLS:
3 - piece tool set
5- piece tool set
mica plate
Mini Gotoku stand
Ash / Charcoal / Book
Cast Iron and Ceramic Burner Bowls (scroll down for bowls)


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