Neriko (練香)

Neriko (a pastille) is a solid matter in which powdered fragrant wood, spices, or herbes are mixed together with honey or gum arabic. In Japan, it is also called 'Takimono' (mixture of fragrant woods, etc. used for making incense) whose ingredients include honey, plum meat, or Koko (shells ground into powder for incense materials).

History

According to the Ancient Egyptian documents, Neriko called Kiphy was used. Dioscorides, a physician in the Roman Empire, refers to Kiphy in his book, 'Materia Medica' (Regarding Medical Matters). Ploutarchos, a writer of the same period, described that the Ancient Egyptian priests burned incense three times a day, and Kiphy consisted of 16 ingredients.

Later, it is said that it was introduced to Greece, the Middle East, India, and China before coming down to Japan together with Buddhism.

Burning incense

Neriko is not lit directly by a flame but placed on the hot charcoal for incense use or the hot ash so as to be heated indirectly.