Sakura Murasaki Fine Japanese Imports is based in the beautiful far north coast of New South Wales, Australia. We have been offering high quality Japanese imports since 2007. Japanese incense is our main product and we stock over twenty different types including our high end traditional Japanese incense, our low smoke more contemporary style and our particularly environmentally friendly Japanese incense. Our incenses are crafted by Kunjudo, a unique Japanese company that enjoys an unrivalled reputation.
Sakura Murasaki Fine Japanese Imports is one hundred percent committed to offering the highest quality and most beautiful incense from Japan to Australian customers. Our beautiful incense will be sure to make unusual stylish gifts. We look forward to serving you.
The word “incense” comes from the latin word “incendere” meaning “to burn”. Incenses that are used today, whether in the shape of sticks, cones, or coils, are the fruits of developments over thousands of years. Frankincense and myrrh were widely used by the ancient Egyptians, and the Shang Dynasty (c. 1600 BC – c. 1046 BC) Chinese burnt herbs to “please heaven”. Mankind has been using scent for various reasons since ancient times.
Japanese incense enjoys an unparalleled reputation for quality and purity. Many recipes have been handed down and perfected for generations. The ingredients are pure and simple which means the incense burns cleanly. So those who have suffered from irritation in the past (often caused by the bamboo sticks on which the incense is coated, or from poor ingredients) can now truly enjoy its benefits. Burning incense adds a timeless quality to your space night or day, inside or outside and in solitude or in company.
Incense has many uses. It can be burnt in the home, at work, when you are getting together with friends, or away from home. Incense enhances the ambience of any space whilst relaxing the body and refreshing the mind. The presence of incense contributes to clearing and harmonising energy whether you are by yourself, or with others. It is effective for clearing bedrooms (or hotel rooms when you are away) and other environments before you settle down to sleep. Incense will assist you to become centred before and during meditation. The lighting of incense is ritualistic in the sense that when you are lighting it you become self-aware and are “present”. The addition of the imprint of your intention will help the incense to bring forth its full potential.
Energetically your intuition can help you choose which incense to use for a particular purpose. Such different uses are, clearing a room or space, connecting to your centre or for calming a surrounding environment. It is useful to have a variety of incense. Having your “favourite” and using the same one all the time is not recommended as this can create dependency and over-familiarity. Incense is no longer healing when you can no longer smell it.
From the Ancient Japanese Courtly Life to Modern-day Ko-Do – The Way of Incense
The oldest written record of incense in Japan states that a heavy piece of wood had drifted to the shore of Awaji Island (located roughly 500km south-west of Tokyo, between Honshu and Shikoku) in 595 AD. The villagers burnt the wood and smelt the beautiful fragrance, so they put out the fire and dedicated this wood to the Empress Suiko. By the 11th century, the Japanese aristocracy adopted the use of incense for personal pleasure. The Tale of Genji, the famous classical work of Japanese literature published in 1,021 AD, describes how the aristocracy at that time made special efforts to create exotic scents. They particularly adored perfuming the layers of kimono by burning incense.
Ko-Do (the Way of Incense or the Way of Scent) matured towards the end of the 15th century reflecting the fact that the samurai, who held all the political power, preferred simplicity and refinement as a way of life. The samurai developed Ko-Do in line with these aesthetics. The trend of mixing different ingredients changed the emphasis to the appreciation of a single ingredient. Ko-Do is still practiced today. In Ko-Do, it is said that one “listens” to the scent of traditional incense (rather than “smelling” it). This is to distinguish the fact of truly taking the scent to your heart and feeling it as opposed to just recognising (or registering) it.
The traditional incense that Sakura Murasaki Fine Japanese Imports stocks is created from the blends of pure and high-quality ingredients reviving the luxurious and sophisticated scents of the Heian Era (794 AD – 1185 AD). Jewel of the Flower and Karin Select reflect this harmony of composition and are the most popular incenses we stock.
For those who seek something more robust with strong presence and character, we recommend Floating Pavilion, Japanese Story, Waves of Providence and Sapphire. These four types all have a common ingredient called agarwood (or aloeswood, also known as eaglewood) that gives a distinctively unique aroma unmatched by any other incense.
The way people live today has changed dramatically compared to, say, 50 years ago. Everyone is constantly very busy and things keep going 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Isn’t it true to say that sometimes we all seek solitude and solace just to have a little break or a quiet moment for ourselves? This does not have to be an expensive holiday, but rather, a simple cups of tea or perhaps, just settling down burning your favourite incense to help you connect to a moment of stillness and reflection.
The high popularity of these modern scented incenses, which are widely used and enjoyed, both inside and outside of Japan, is a clear testimony to the fact that the small things we do for ourselves really matter in our busy world. Incense is a simple everyday joy that we can all afford to have. Even people who are sensitive to smoke can enjoy these delicate aromas.
Japanese low smoke incense is recommended for people that are very sensitive to smoke and gives a beautiful scent in the room without this irritation. Sakura Murasaki Fine Japanese Imports has a large selection of low smoke incense types. Pearl is one of the most popular low smoke incense we stock. It is very reasonably priced and comes in different sizes. Diamond is also a low smoke Japanese incense and is an exquisite blend of natural flower essences achieving a superbly sweet and refreshing scent. We highly recommend it. Our Eco Incense collection is also low smoke, this includes Sakura, Hinoki (Japanese Cypress) and Lavender. Floral incense Rose, Lavender, Cherry Blossom, and Plum Blossom are all low smoke Japanese incense. Ruby is very subtle with a gentle woody scent – this is the incense we recommend for those who are sensitive to smoke. Fragrant Cloud is woody (sandalwood), warm and gentle, letting you lovingly enjoy still moments.
Please contact us for sizes that are not on the website. If they are available, we are happy to order from Japan for you. (Please allow two to three months. For this service a 50% non-refundable deposit is required.)
Agarwood, also known as Aloeswood or Eaglewood, is a very valuable fragrant dark resinous heartwood used in incense, perfumes and essential oils. Agarwood is created when a certain species of Aquilaria trees that are damaged, mostly by wood-boring insects, lightning, wind damage, and human intervention, allowing a mould to attack the timber stimulating the tree to produce a resin to seal the fungal growth. This process makes the resin and wood fibres integrate and transforms the wood into aromatic resinous Agarwood (prior to this, the wood does not have any scent). The resin embedded hardwood is known by a variety of names; in Japanese, it is “沈香 jin koo” meaning “sinking fragrance”, in Sanskrit “aguru”, in Indonesian “gaharu” and in Arabic “Oud” and in Western countries it is commonly called “Agarwood” or “Aloeswood”. Agarwood is largely produced in the southeastern part of Asia mainly in regions of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, India and Myanmar and south China. In fact, Hong Kong means Fragrant Harbour in English as it once was an important incense trading place to the Middle East and beyond.
Over many years, Aquilaria trees in the wild have been harvested nearly to the point of extinction and it has been classified as a threatened species, recognised by CITES and requires an official certification for the wood to be traded legally. For the time being, Agarwood remains highly sought after and expensive. Agarwood plantations are being developed to supply increasing demand.
Sakura Murasaki Fine Japanese Imports has a large selection of beautiful floral incense. Cherry Blossom (Low Smoke) and Plum Blossom (Low Smoke) are sweet fruity scents, that have a refreshing clarity, capturing the freshness of the first blossom of the spring. Eco Sakura (Low Smoke) and Eco Lavender (Low Smoke) are a milder alternative to our “Lavender” and “Cherry Blossom” in the “Floral Series” and are part of the environmentally friendly incense collection. Peony incense is an exclusive to Sakura Murasaki (and only one retail shop in Japan). It superbly represents the scent of Peony flowers and is gorgeously sweet with a depth of multi-layered flower petals bringing the dynamic presence of the blossoming peony. This incense is highly recommended. Rose incense (Low Smoke) is reminiscent of a light stroll in the rose garden, refreshing and sweetly fragrant. Lavender incense (Low Smoke) has a warm and summery scent and will invite lots of brightness into a child’s room.
In recent times global warming and climate change have been talked about a lot. Recycling, energy saving, and other environmentally friendly activities have become a part of our daily lives. “Think globally and act locally” is a wise phrase that has had an impact on us all. It was only natural for an incense maker to step up to the next level of awareness and create and develop an environmentally friendly incense.
All good incense requires ground wood powder as a binding agent along with aromatic wood. This “Eco” incense contains salvaged wood and no trees have been felled especially to create this incense. Also, the packaging uses more than 90% recycled paper and employs soy ink printing.
Our incense maker, Kunjudo participates in the “Challenge 25 Campaign” which is an initiative to proactively encourage environmentally friendly activities leading to the reduction of CO2 emissions. Also, part of the proceeds from the sales of this Eco incense is donated to the “Setouchi Olive Foundation” (an NPO organisation promoting and helping the re-growth of the natural environment and reforestation in the Setouchi region in Japan where the incense maker is located).
The first two incenses in the Takara Series (Takara Soft and Takara Deluxe) were created in 1975 as the world’s first “low smoke” incenses using a “floral” scent which at that time was unconventional and innovative. Ever since, this incense has been loved and cherished by Japanese people as an incense for “every day use” in the home (Oheya no Kaori).
As Takara Soft and Takara Deluxe were received very well, it was only natural to expand this collection with another low smoke incense which resulted in Takara Gold being introduced in 1978. Takara Gold has a patented way of releasing its scent. Usually, incenses release their aroma steadily into the air, but Kunjudo developed a unique way of locking in the scent into micro capsules and the scent is only released when the capsule burns. In other words, Takara Gold will not lose its scent in storage and it will always be fresh.
Takara Mild was created in 2007 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Takara Series launch, incorporating a new low ash level.
(For the time being, this product is not available but Burner Ash is still available.)
Sakura Murasaki Fine Japanese Imports offers very high-quality solid brass incense burners. There are two sizes available (medium and large). The incense burner is first filled with ash (included in the price) and then an incense stick is placed upright in it. The burners are very stable owing to their weight yet elegant. They add a wonderful oriental ambiance to your home. Burner ash is very unique. Unlike ash from burnt wood, this ash does not set hard yet holds the incense sticks upright and allows the full stick to burn. Please use it according to the instructions on the box. Periodically the ash needs to be refreshed. It is said that once upon a time a seasoned monk could hear the ash fall from the incense stick onto the burner ash.
(For the time bing, this product is not available.)
Printed incense is so cute! If you are looking for something unusual, look no further, this is it. Where have you ever seen an incense that is also a picture? Printed incense does not just look pretty, it smells absolutely gorgeous. In fact, if you are one of those people who feel these are too adorable to burn, place a couple of incense picture tiles on a plate and leave them in your living room. Every time you walk past them, you will smell the delicate scent (they should last for about a week). When you no longer smell them, then you can still light them and burn them and they will still produce their scent (please place it on the non-flammable mat). These Printed Incenses will surely make a very unique and lovely gift.
When you are away from home, have you slept in a room that did not feel quite right? Burning pure and high-quality incense can help to clear energy and prepare your environment for a good night’s sleep. The travel incense holders are great to use away from home. They are light, compact and delicate. Simply pack one in your case and take it with you everywhere. Sakura Murasaki fine Japanese Imports stocks a beautiful selection of travel incense holders. They are made from ceramic with beautiful designs and colours. Please be sure never to leave incense burning unattended. Read the full caution on the box that your holder comes in.