The Way of Fragrance is the art of appreciating incense, and involves using incense within a structure of codified conduct. It is counted as one of the three classical arts of refinement. Kōdō includes all aspects of the incense process - from the tools, which, much like tools of the tea ceremony, are valued as high art, to activities such the incense-comparing games.

Incense is an integral part of the tea ceremony, just like calligraphy, flower arrangement, and scroll Arrangement.

Main incense ingredients:

Agarwood (jinkō) (also called Aloeswood)
Sandalwood (byakudan)
Borneo Camphor (ryūnō)
Benzoin (ansokukō)
Frankincense (nyūkō)
Clove (chōji)
Star Anise (tōshikimi)
Rhubarb (daiō)
Cinnamon (keihi)
Licorice (kanzō)
Patchouli (pachori)

One of the incense smelling games: Participants sit near one another and take turns smelling incense from a censer as they pass it around the group. Participants comment on and make observations about the incense, and play games to guess the incense material. Genjikō is one such game, in which participants are to determine which of 5 prepared censers contain different scents, and which contain the same scent.


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