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Cool Japan / Japanese Candles (和ろうそく / Warousoku)

http://image.rakuten.co.jp/kyoto-b/cabinet/hanbai11/warousoku_04.jpg
(Japanese Candles (和ろうそく / Warousoku) / Image)

Candle making was first introduced to Japan from China during the Muromachi period. The Chinese method was then further developed in Japan to create a very original version, which became known as the Japanese candle. These candles enjoyed their peak popularity during the Edo period.
http://www.warousoku.com/_DSC4497.jpg http://image.rakuten.co.jp/kyoto-b/cabinet/hanbai11/warousoku_top.jpg

First, the core of the candle is made from stalks of the rush plant wrapped with Japanese paper and then coated repeatedly by hand with mokurou wax. This method is called shoujyoukikake and the whole process is done carefully by hand. There is another method, called katanagashi in which a mold is used instead of layers of coating.
http://www.warousoku.com/assets_c/2011/03/IMG_7990-thumb-550x366-86.jpg
(Japanese Candles (和ろうそく / Warousoku) Shop)

While western candles use paraffin made from petroleum oil, mokurou wax, the main ingredient of Japanese candles, is made primarily from the dried berries of Rhus trees (known also as Wax Tree and Sumac Tree). Mokurou wax produces less soot than paraffin. There are two shapes of traditional Japanese candles - pole shape and anchor shape both of which are designed to prevent the melting wax from obstructing the light.
Japanese candles are a fixture at temples and shrines where they emit a mystical glow that transport visitors to another time and place.

By TS on Jan 20, 2012
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