The Ancient Art of Incense

While it’s important to stay informed, daily updates about the COVID-19 can feel overwhelming and often anxiety-inducing. To help de-stress and purify the mind and body, Destination Asia Japan recommends using kodo.

Translating to the “way of the fragrance”, kodo is one of the three major classical arts that women of refinement was expected to learn. Traditionally when practising kodo, as in the tea ceremony, practitioners will gather in a room, private house, or temple with tatami mat-covered floors. A mica plate is then placed on top of smoldering coals and the incense or fragrant wood is placed on the plate. Sitting in the formal seiza style, practitioners take turns appreciating a particular incense and guessing the ingredients inside.

Since the Muromachi Period (1336-1573), kodo is said to have ten physical and psychological benefits or virtues: it sharpens the senses; purifies the mind and body; removes mental or spiritual ‘pollutants’; promotes alertness; heals feelings of loneliness; creates a feeling of harmony even under stress; even in abundance, is not overwhelming; satisfies, even in small quantities; does not decay even over centuries; and does no harm even if used every day.

While some practitioners dedicate their lives to kodo, any incense or fragrance with relaxing properties can be used to scent your #WorkFromHome office.

e: japan@destination-asia.com

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