In 2013 I put together the first Kōdō incense ceremony to be seen in London for many years, hosted by one of the few remaining incense masters in the world: Souhitsu Issikeu Hachiya of Kyoto’s Shino school.
Japanese tea ceremonies are well known of, but one of the other arts cultivated by the samurai and aristocracy at around 1500 CE was that of incense appreciation, which evolved into a codified ritual and set of olfactory games through which beautiful fragrances could be enjoyed, meditated upon, and even form the inspiration for courtly poetry. Participants sit round in a circle and the master passes round the incense in an elaborate ceremony. It sounds a bit like like students sharing a joint but I promise, it’s much more exciting than that.
Organised in collaboration with Fornasetti Profumi, Nippon Kodo and The Conran Shop.