The Book of Incense

Enjoying the Traditional Art of Japanese Scents

  • Kiyoko Morita
The Book of Incense

Size: 189×132 mm, 180 g
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 136
ISBN10: 1-56836-572-1
ISBN13: 978-1-56836-572-5
Release date: Nov. 6, 2015

List price: $15.00

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Incense has a long history in Japan. At the ancient court, men and women alike scented their kimono, their rooms, and even their writing paper with signature blends of incense that admirers were sure to mention later in their love poems. Even today, Japanese incense is highly regarded for its subtlety and beauty.

Author Kiyoko Morita describes how to mix blends, and how to play traditional literary games involving incense. She also introduces koh-do, or the "incense ceremony," which enthusiasts still perform today.

The Book of Incense is the first book available in English that focuses on the incense traditions of Japan. Its approach is broad and eclectic. Morita encourages us to choose from among the elements of Japanese olfactory history, and to borrow the parts we like and use them as we see fit.

The Book of Incense fosters a new awareness of the importance of scent, and provides a fund of ideas for making optimal use of the sense of smell in our everyday lives.


“Opens up a fascinating dimension to the uses and pleasures of the sense of smell which is archetypally and uniquely Japanese.”
—Aromatherapy Quarterly

“Gently unravels the mystique of kodo, the esoteric Japanese art form centering on incense, and brings it up to date.”
—The Daily Yomiuri

“Beautifully written introduction to the aesthetic practice of kodo.”
—City Life News

About the Author

KIYOKO MORITA grew up in Hokkaido, Japan. She lives in Massachusetts, where she is a lecturer in Japanese at Tufts University and a Ph. D candidate in Educational Studies at Lesley College. Ms Morita is also an Associate in Research at the Reischauer Institute of Harvard University and a founding member of the Boston Shino Incense Study Group. In her spare time she enjoys tennis, bicycling, and quilting.