Japanese Incense types can be classified into two main categories, 熏香 (heating incense), or 焚香 (burning incense). A smaller third category exists, where incense or fragrant materials are not heated nor burnt at all, with the fragrance appreciated in the raw form. In the category of heating incense, a piece of red hot charcoal… [Read More…]
Traditionally, the word 玉 or Jade refers to two types of beautiful stone materials, either the Chinese historical Nephrite (calcium magnesium sillicates), known for its creamy, smooth and elegant texture, or the Burmese Jadeite (sodium aluminum silicates), reknown for its lovely green hues and icy translucencies. However today, the word玉/Jade is now applied to… [Read More…]
Mon-Koh is loosely translated as “listening to incense” from the Japanese language. Kyara is best enjoyed using Japanese “mon-koh” methods, where a red hot coal is buried under ash in a ceramic cup, with a small ventilation hole prodded to provide air to the coal, and a slice of clean mica place on top before… [Read More…]
Dating back to the Western Jin dynasty, and re-published in Song Dynasty and Ming dynasty records before it faded away, the ancient Chinese appeared to classify aloeswood by the following terms 蜜香, 沉香, 鸡骨香, 黄熟香, 栈香, 青桂香, 马蹄香, 鸡舌香. There are serious flaws in this ancient Chinese classification despite it being very commonly used… [Read More…]
Kyara/Kynam/Kinam is a tiny subset within aloeswoods in a very very small percentage. In a historical context, it refers to a special type/grade of aloeswood with unique and excellent fragrance properties. The Chinese have a saying that one needs an accumulation of 3 lifetimes of virtues before one would have the chance of encountering real… [Read More…]
A large piece of fragrant wood drifting ashore onto Awaji Island in the 6th Century, and presented to the Empress Suiko was recorded in the Nihon Shoji. The ability of Prince Shotuku to identify this fragrant wood as aloeswood or Jin-Koh, suggests that this material had already been known by the royalty in Japan much… [Read More…]
Kynam, qinan (奇楠), kyara. The esteemed names of a very precious fragrant material on earth that almost no one seem to truly know in the modern world today. Historically, the Vietnamese called it calambac, in Sanskrit, it was recorded as kala-nam. The chinese words for kynam can be found with two variations of the word qi (奇), of which the former refers to unique, amazing, special. Nan (楠) refers to a certain wood type with three categorical species, where xiang nan or fragrant nan is one of them.