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The Sound of One Hand: Reaching Beyond the limits of Traditional Ink Painting

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Incense Ceremony


There is nothing like good incense!  Nothing makes me feel so instantly blissful, content, and at peace than the smell of incense. When I'm having a bad day or difficult time,  I light some incense and whatever troubles me fades away with each breath I take. The Japanese culture has taken the burning of incense to a whole other level - The Incense Ceremony. ( Koh-do )

Like the tea ceremony (called chanoyu (茶の湯) and flower arrangement ( called Ikebana) , Koh-do, or "incense ceremony," is an important tradition in Japan. Koh-do is always presented by licensed practitioners who have graduated from koh schools — either the Shino or Oie schools — that have have been preserving and conveying this tradition for over five centuries. Incense ceremony is traditionally carried out in the Koh room (as pictured), with a Master of Ceremonies and a small group of participants. Most incense ceremonies involve a game in which the participants attempt to guess the scent is being burned. There are hundreds of variations of these incense games.

While the formal Koh-do ceremony is steeped in protocol and tradition, the main idea is to have fun with fragrance and learn to "listen" to incense. Of course, one does not have to have an experienced, "trained nose" to enjoy and appreciate incense. Informal gatherings of people can meet to share different kinds of incense and create their own games.

A good source of additional information about the vivid history and culture of Japanese incense, including Koh-do incense ceremony, is The Book of Incense by Kiyoko Morita.

The Book of Incense
I have created some  Zen Digital Art as prints to sooth and relax. Have you ever watched smoke from incense curl up into the sky? Your senses are filled with relaxation as you smell and see the smoke spirit. Created by accomplished Carmel artist Casey Shannon.
Smoke Spirit 
by Casey Shannon
Casey Shannon
Director of North America Branch ~ ICCPS
International Chinese Calligraphy and Ink Painting Sociey

国際中国書法国画家協会アメリカ支部:Ms. Casey Shannon アメリカ現代水墨画家
Copyright ©  Casey Shannon Studio Art. All rights reserved


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