By 1657, Kakuuemon Yamatoya was specialising in selling incense ingredients and incense sticks and was able to call himself Jinkoya Sakubei. Jinkoya meant ‘aloeswood trader,’ and it was a name that only authorised medicinal wholesalers, who specialised in incense, in Sakai were able to call themselves.
Later the name of the business changed to Nakata Baieido, still making incense with methods that had been handed down for generations. Baieido is now recognised as one of the highest quality incense manufacturers in the world today blending the finest aromatic woods and resins to produce a natural, mild, low-smoke incense stick of superb quality and aroma.
Since Jinkoya’s incense work, the time-honoured traditions and incense formulas have passed on down through the centuries and the company continues to make incense to the oldest recipes.
Baieido take pride in using both traditional incense stick making processes alongside more modern manufacturing techniques and new technology.
When Baiedio incense products are being made, they go through 12 keys stages.
1. The natural perfume, which is a key component of the incense sticks, it carefully controlled and analysed in the laboratory.
2. The aloes and sandalwoods are milled and crushed together into a powder form.
3. Next the powder and dyes are blended together.
4. The mixed materials are put through a sieve to remove any impurities.
5. The materials are kneaded to form a clay-like substance, called tama.
6. The tama is put through a machine to form stick shapes and are then laid on a tray and cut to a set length.
7. The incense sticks are dried out and any that aren’t straight are removed.
8. The sticks of incense are cut into different lengths.
9. The sticks are dried for several days.
10. The incense sticks are adjusted with a board, to help prevent them becoming bent.
11. Each individual incense stick is carefully inspected, then bound together with a fixed weight.
12. The sticks are checked again, before being packed up.