【Nakamura Rosoku】Japanese Candle

Nakamura Rosoku

Nakamura Rosoku, located in Takeda, Fushimi-ku, has been making Japanese candles since 1887. The entire process is done by hand. First, the wick, which is made by wrapping the pith of rush grass around paper, is placed in a wooden mold, and wax made from the nut of the Japanese wax tree (haze) is poured into the mold. Once the base is formed, the wax for the top is rubbed on by the craftsman's hand. This process, known as “seiyo-kake,” is also the key to adjusting the size and thickness of the candle.

Craftsman Profiles

Name :Hono Nishikawa

Place : Kyoto

Type of craft : Japanese Candle


"There are things I can do as a next generation!"

I believe that as a young generation, I am able to abandon the stereotypes of having to do certain things. In addition to the traditional techniques that have been handed down for hundreds of years, I would like to develop new products by making the most of the ideas that only a young person like me can come up with.

History of Japanese Candle

Origins in the Imperial Glow

Candle making in Kyoto has its origins deeply rooted in the spiritual practices of the city, beginning as a temple craft during the Heian period. Historical records reveal that monks first crafted candles as a practical tool for measuring time during their intricate prayers and extensive rituals. This method allowed them to maintain precise intervals for chanting and meditation, integrating the art of candle making deeply within the spiritual and cultural fabric of Kyoto.

The Wax and Wick Evolution

Artisans developed specialized methods to refine the haze wax more thoroughly, resulting in a cleaner and more consistent burn. Additionally, the preparation of wicks underwent improvements that enabled the candles to burn brighter and longer than ever before. These wicks were carefully crafted from high-quality washi paper, treated and twisted in a way that increased the oxygen flow to the flame, thus producing a steadier and more luminous light. This technical mastery set Kyoto candles apart from other regional variants, making them highly sought after across Japan.

Preservation of Purity

The artisans' dedication to preserving these methods was driven by a deep respect for the cultural significance and artistic value of their craft. Kyoto candles, renowned for their bright and clean flame, continued to be integral in various traditional settings like tea ceremonies, religious rituals, and family altars. This continuity ensured that the candles retained their role not just as sources of light, but as cultural symbols embodying the aesthetic and spiritual values of Kyoto.

Features of Japanese Candle

1. Illuminating Design

Japanese candles are renowned for their exquisite, often hand-painted designs. These artworks on wax vary from simple natural motifs to intricate landscapes, reflecting the seasons and the natural beauty of Japan, each candle offering a glimpse into the artisan's vision and skill.

2. A Symphony of Scents

Artisans often infuse these candles with subtle fragrances derived from local flowers and herbs like yuzu and sakura. This not only enhances the ambiance but also reflects the seasonal beauty of Kyoto, allowing each candle to narrate a story through its scent.

Crafting Process of Japanese Candle

Nakamura Rosoku Products

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