The Ten Virtues of Koh

In the fifteenth century (The Muromach Era), Zen priests were believed to have written a document known as the Ten Virtues of Koh, which described the inherent qualities of incense, as well as it’s intrinsic benefits.

After these virtues were written, appreciation for koh (incense) evolved from an elegant nuance into a disciplined Japanese practice. The Ten Virtues of Koh are still appreciated and cited by many people today.

Ten Virtues of Koh

The Ten Virtues of Koh (incense)

  1. It brings communication with the transcendent.
  2. It refreshes mind and body.
  3. It removes impurity.
  4. It brings alertness.
  5. It is a companion in solitude.
  6. In the midst of busy affairs, it brings a moment of peace.
  7. When it is plentiful, one never tires of it.
  8. When there is little, still one is satisfied.
  9. Age does not change its efficacy.
  10. Used everyday, it does no harm.

This article was last revised on 02/26/2020.

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