Japanese incense traditions began just over 1,400 years ago when, according to legend, a large aromatic piece of driftwood was washed ashore on the small island of Awaji, where the fragrant wood was given as a gift to the Empress Suiko. This piece of wood is now known as agarwood, or aloeswood. Not many knew at the time the traditions that would inevitably transpire.

By the time the 18th century rolled around, Rokubei Moristune Hata began learning incense crafting at Kyoto’s Imperial Palace. Twelve generations after, the Hata family continued Rokubei’s legacy and started the Shoyeido Incense Company.

Today, Shoyeido, although they craft incense on both the high and low end of the scale, are generally is considered to be one of higher end Japanese incense manufacturers.

Shoyeido’s has a state-of-the-art blending process and they consider it to be an art form. Their employees draw from ancient recipes to create truly traditional fragrances.

The Japanese believe that even the slightest difference in ingredient quality or quantity can significantly change the scent of the resulting product. Shoyeido claims to use the finest materials they can source.

shoyeido incense
Burning Incense Stick

The Shoyeido incense company is used throughout many temples in Japan, as well as burned daily by their many loyal customers. Their scents are perfect for yoga, meditation, worship, or even simply as a sensual pleasure.

Shoyeido claims to care deeply about the environment and they have received permits from the Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry in Japan, and the US Fish & Wildlife Department to prove their commitment. These organizations validate that their ingredients are responsibly harvested.

They say their incense contains no animal-based ingredients and they do not test on animals.

This article was last revised on 02/28/2020.

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