Koudou (Incense Ceremony)
Appreciating incense with the elegant and Zen-like
fragrance is one of the traditional Japanese art traditions transmitted to Japan during the Tang Dynasty of China, and together with the "tea ceremony", "flower ceremony", and "book ceremony" form the "Four Streams of Japanese Traditional Arts".
The raw materials used in Koudou are all purely natural without any chemical ingredients, with Agarwood as the main component mixed with other materials for different aromas. Koudou is divided into "Monko (smelling incense)" for appreciation of the smell from incense burning, and "incense-comparing games" for the aroma discerning game.
In Koudou, it is not only to learn to smell the aroma, but on a higher level it is also to listen and watch. According to the rules, when attending an incense ceremony, you must sit still without saying a word, quietly feel and watch the smoke curl up and gradually disappear from the thick to the invisible, with the sound of the burning incense gradually becoming smaller. From it you can feel the impermanence and change of the world, and in the process a peaceful scene will create in your heart to help you relax and cultivate your character.
To this day, Koudou has evolved from the "incense offering" of Buddhism, "air fumigation" of nobles and "incense playing" of the literati to an art with rituals and on the spiritual level.