Takazawa-san's Zen Buddhist Meditation Candles
~Japanese Warosoku Candles, Handmade Since the 19th Century~
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.
Mr. Takazawa 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. 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 production, 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.
Warosoku-Zen Meditation Candles