The six grades of Jinko (Aloeswood, Agarwood).

The Six grades of Jinko (Aloeswood, Agarwood)

In Japan Aloeswood is the most prized fragrant wood incense of all. The amazing quality of its incense is only just being discovered in the West.

In Japan, valuable kimonos were scented with smoke from burning Aloeswood. This is the traditional wood for the incense ceremony of Kodo, and in Japan it is purchased in six different qualities. The best wood, Kyara, is differentiated by colour and quality.

Aloeswood, along with santal and clove, is sacred to the Buddhist religion. The living and dead tree is attacked by a fungus, and over time, preferably centuries, nature provides an incense material worth more than its weight in gold.

Aloeswood is a psychoactive substance, and is used in oriental medicines for nervous disorders, colic and as a heart tonic.

The six grades of Jinko are as follows:-

Kyara (The Aristocrat)                                                                                     the-lady-maisumi-of-daimonji-ya-md
Connoisseurs regard this as top-grade material. It is divided according to quality, based on colour (green, black, purple and dark brown-grey).

Rakoku (The Samurai)the-actor-band-mitsugor-ii-md

Reminiscent of the warrior, the aroma of Rakoku is considered relatively pungent and bitter. This type originally hailed from Thailand.

Sasora (The Monk)

Of priestly demeanor, the aroma is considered delicate, cool and sour. Sasora may have originated from the western shores of India, around Goa.


Sumotara (The Servant disguised as a noble)


The aroma has the makings of Kyara, but with the lack of subtlety in-depth. It is an impersonator, hence the name. Described as a sour smell, Sumotara has a somewhat distasteful demeanor. Sumotara originally came from the island of Sumatra in the east Indian archipelago.

Manaka (The fickle one of changing moods)


Delicate and ever-changing, the tastes of sweet, sour bitter, hot and salty are not easily detectable, and if they are it is a fleeting impression. Manaka hailed from the strait of Malacca between Indonesia and Malaya.


Manaban ( The coarse peasant)

Sweet. unrefined and coarse, with a grittiness that distinguishes it from high quality material. Manaban came from the Malabar coast of southern India.


syukohkoku                 white cloud



Mike & Nikki

Thank you to The library of Congress for the images

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Japanese Incense-Shoyeido Moss Garden/Nokiba


Shoyeido- Moss Garden/Nokiba


Like a child waiting for Christmas


I’m always the same when I am waiting for the order of incense. I’m like a kid at Christmas waiting for the day to come or in my case waiting for the delivery, especially if there is something new or a Japanese incense I have personally run out of. This brings me to my review of Shoyeido’s Moss Garden/Nokiba which I was expecting a delivery of.


I’m not going to pretend


I love Moss Garden and I can’t pretend I don’t , there are other incenses in the Shoyeido range that I’m not so keen on, as personally I am more of a Baieido incense girl. I will try and stay impartial and not go too overboard for this review but it may be worth taking into account my passion for quality Japanese incense


What do I say?


Moss garden has a seductive, feminine and floral scent to it without being to flowery or sickly. I feel Moss Garden has warm and earthy under tones to it but if you’re looking for the strong earthy feel of Sandalwood or Agarwood then in my opinion this isn’t the Japanese incense for you and you would be better with Baieido -Tokusen (Excellent) Kobunboku,


I have heard others describe Moss Garden of being reminiscence of Geishas and Japanese tea ceremonies, which evocate strong images of mystery and sensuality which I can compare to Moss Garden. Moss Garden invites you to take time and notice it’s delicate scent and enjoy it’s beautiful aroma.




What does Shoyeido say?


Moss Garden is one of Shoyeido’s oldest recipes and is said by Shoyeido to be mild and evocative of plum flowers blooming by the window. I have never had the pleasure to smell plum flowers blooming next to a window and I can’t really say it is an image to inspire my imagination. I can’t say this description of Moss garden does it for me but it may for you.


Your review, Your incense


This a review of one of the Japanese incense we sell but I would be really interested to hear from others what incenses you burn and what you enjoy about them.




Ten Virtues of Koh (Incense)


                        Ten Virtues of Koh (Incense)

                        It brings communication with the transcendent.

                        It refreshes mind and body.

                        It removes impurity.

                        It brings alertness.

                        It is a companion in solitude.

                        In the midst of busy affairs, it brings a moment of peace.

                        When it is plentiful, one never tires of it.

                        When there is little, still one is satisfied.

                        Age does not change its efficacy.

                        Used everyday, it does no harm.

                                                          -A poem from the sixteenth century-

If you would like to view our Japanese Incense range from Shoyeido & Baieido please take a few moments to look at our new website. If you register an account with us, we will be happy to email you a 20% off any order voucher.


Nikki & Mike

Japanese Incense & Reiki treatments> all hands report for duty.

.ImageAll hands report for duty.

I arrived  early to prepare the treatment room within the rehabilitation facility. I chose  Shoyeido’s Hoyei-Koi (Eternal treasure) to set a lovely calm and serene atmosphere. This incense is based on a recipe well over 100 years old. I felt this incense to be so delicate and personal, it was a real time of enjoyment for me and clients when the scents of sandalwood,cinnamon,clove and other selected spices filled the air and fused together.

The first client to enter into the room immediately commented on the aroma saying how lovely it was, then asking what incense it was.

The delicate fusion of scent’s really helped to relax some of the more agitated clients along with the Reiki energy of course.I found this incense to be a great accompaniment to the overall treatment’s carried out and i highly recommend trying it for yourselves.

Please feel free to check out this beautiful incense at