Now that mosquito coils are not so common, for me, incense stick is something that is smoked as an offering at Buddhist temples. Buddhist temples always have incense burners to burn incense. Iinuma Kannon, built in Choshi, also has a large incense burner in front of the main hall, as is typical.
It is said that incense is offered at Buddhist temples because the smoke from incense purifies the mind and body. This seems to be the same in other countries as well, and when I visit Buddhist temples in Southeast Asia, I see worshippers offering incense sticks in the same way, although the form of the incense sticks may be different. What is interesting is that such thinking is not limited to Buddhism. Taoist temples are also accecpted incense, as does the Hindu puja ceremony. The benefits of smoke are widely shared among Asian religions.
In the midst of all this, I read an article about an incense manufacturer called Nippon Kodo, founded in 1575, which is expanding its business widely overseas. The company sells its products in about 30 countries, including non-Asian countries such as the U.S., France, and Brazil. Buddhism, Taoism, and Hinduism would not be common in France and the United States. In other words, it seems that many people buy it purely as a home fragrance, regardless of religion. This was very surprising to me, as the smell of incense sticks reminds me of temples and Buddhist altars.
|Jul 2022 CHIBA PEOPLE|
|CHOSHI INCENSE BURNER TEMPLE|
July 27, 2022
SONY ALPHA 7R II
ZEISS LOXIA 2/35