Warosoku, providing warm candlelight, comprise one of the three elements
of simple Buddhist ceremonies of meditation and reverence. The other
two elements include incense and flowers. Such ceremonies of light,
flower and scent, date back to the sixth century in Japan. The wax of
warosoku is formed from hazenoki, the sumac or wax tree. The wick, rather
than string, is actually made of washi--Japanese hand-made paper.
makes two basic types
of warosoku for meditation, the ikari (wide at the top and narrow at the
base) and the bou (even thickness throughout) forms. Meditation candles
in these two forms have been around since about 1650. Mr. Takazawa's family
business, begun in 1888, is itself over a hundred years old. Although
his company today is the largest single distributor of warosoku in Japan,
he still uses the original methods of
, and adhering to his company's humble origins, he can still
be found in his small store on virtually any day, chatting with friends
from his community.
to begin browsing Takazawa-san's meditation candles.