Incense weight: 37 grams
Number of sticks: Approximately 55 short sticks. This may vary slightly though as the quantity of incense is based upon weight, not the number of sticks
Stick length: Approx 13.5 cms
Burn time per stick: About 45 minutes per stick
Manufacturer: Baieido, Japan
They say: Kaiunkoh means : 'Good Fortune Incense' Kaiunkoh is an old traditional formula. It is very spicy, and rich in Vietnamese aloeswood, and quality sandalwood.
In Japan aloeswood is seen as a sacred and important wood. It is one of the most distinguished ingredients of some Japanese incense. During the Kamakura period (1185-1333) the Japanese began using various raw woods such as aloeswood in the making of incense. Some incense was used in a more recreational way while others were used in the most important of religious ceremonies. This led to a classification system for grading the qualities of aloeswood. The very finest quality aloeswood is referred to as Kyara. Good quality aloeswood fetches very high prices and this is reflected in the prices of the highest quality aloeswood incenses.
Aloeswood is also an important wood in the Middle East and in many places is burned daily to accompany prayer. It is also known as agarwood, eaglewood, oud or gaharu.
The wood itself has no significant aroma. Aloeswood is obtained from the evergreen daphne genus tree. When a fungus infects the tree a resin begins to form. When the trees dies this resin continues to harden and mature. This resin imbued wood is then collected for incense and burning purposes.
In Japan it is considered a great honour to receive a gift of fine aloeswood or Kyara.
About Sandalwood: An evergreen tree of the Santalaceae family found predominantly in India. Within India, the area by the southwest coast known as the Mysore region is referred to as Sandalwood City, and this is regulated by the Indian government. It is extremely famous for its production of superior quality Sandalwood as well as its high price. The heartwood of the Sandalwood tree has been valued from ancient times for carving Buddhist statues and ritual objects. Its aroma is proclaimed of in ancient works as; 'pure, powerful, emanating tranquility, when burnt it is superior to other incense aromas.'
More About Baieido Incense
Baieido is one of the oldest traditional incense producers in Japan and has been producing a range of pure and high quality incense for over 300 years. The company has a long history, which can be traced back to the Muromachi period in Japanese history (1338 to 1573). The founder of Baieido, Kakuuemon Yamatoya, became a wholesaler of medicinal herbs in Sakai city during this time. It was a well known trading port, where demand for good quality incense was high. 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.
About Japanese Incense - High quality, pure
Japanese incense (speaking in general terms) is refined, pure, light smoke and rich in natural ingredients such as sandalwood. They don't usually have the thin wooden stick centre that is often found in Indian and other incense sticks. They are normally pure incense right the way through the stick. They are often designed with meditation in mind. Due to the high quality manufacturing processes the incense goes through they can be a little bit more expensive than other incense on the market.
To find out more read:
The History of Japanese Incense
Staff Review by Brett Almond
You have to be careful when reviewing incense not to get too close to them. What I mean is to stand over them too much sniffing and sniffing to describe how they smell. That is because you don't use an incense in that way. Incense is more a global experience, something you have in the background for a certain activity or in a certain place. It is something that has a certain aura and character about it caused by the ingredients in it.
This incense feels calming, and has a good balance of sweetness and strength. In fact that is the overriding factor for me - that it feels so well balanced. In fact it's just gorgeous! In fact all the Baieido incenses are! I have been burning them and writing about them for two days now and haven't found one I didn't like yet.
This one could be described as a very good quality aloeswood and sandalwood incense that can be used for everyday meditation. It also contains camphor, clove and Chinese spices. It is often used with the intention of taking us back to our true selves, to the being we are without the distractions of the things that go on around us. This connection can bring us 'good fortune'. The sticks of Kaiunkoh vary from many of the other sticks in the Baieido range in that they are squared off instead of rounded along their length. They are also a little bit thicker than some of the other styles of stick, which means you get slightly less sticks per gram. And the upside of this is that the sticks burn a lot slower.
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