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Top > How to Enjoy Kneaded Incense

How to Enjoy Kneaded Incense (neriko)

Unlike incense sticks, cones or coils, we do not light kneaded incense (neriko) directly but heat it indirectly bit by bit to enjoy the fragrance. Basically, the way is the same as for the fragrant woods, but here we would like to introduce a simple way called Soradaki and another for advanced practitioners_ over a mica plate.

Simple way
For Intermediate Practitioners

Soradaki

All you need is sumi charcoal, ash and incense burner. Perfect when you want the fragrance to spread around the room in an easy way.

→ How to prepare Soradaki

Classical style
For Advanced Practitioners

Heating over a mica plate

Sumi charcoal, ash, incense burner, incense utensils and mica plate are needed.

→ How to heat over a mica plate

No utensils needed
For Beginners

Wood Chip Heater

No sumi charcoal nor ash needed. Recommended when you want the fragrance to spread around the room in an easy way.

→ See wood chip burners


Soradaki


Needed items

Mon-koh incense burner

Mon-koh incense burner

Ash for incense burners

Ash for incense burners

Sumi charcoal

Sumi charcoal

Sumi charcoal

Kneaded incense (neriko)

Soradaki instruction

Way of burning

Stirring the ash in the incense burner gently and making the surface smooth.

Stir the ash gently with metal chopsticks* from the bottom of the burner to put some air.
* If you don`t have the metal chopsticks, you can use the splittable ones.
Adjust the ash gently to make the surface flat.

Way of burning

Igniting the charcoal with a lighter.

Keep it lighted until the edge of the charcoal become well heated. Be careful not to get burned oneself.
In case of Soradaki style, the charcoal is placed on the surface close enough to heat the incense well, so there is no need to use such a big piece as the Ceremonial Charcoal (Koh-tadon).

Way of burning

Waiting until the charcoal becomes grayish-white.

Keep the charcoal over the ash until the heat spreads entirely.

Way of burning

Covering about a half of the charcoal under the ash.

When the whole charcoal piece is heated up well (turns grayish-white), use the metal chopsticks to cover about a half of it underneath the ash.

Way of burning

Placing the kneaded incense (neriko) close to the charcoal.

Place the kneaded incense at a little distance from the charcoal covered in ash.
The fragrance of gradually heated incense will spread throughout the room!

[Hint]
・You can also enjoy fragrant woods this way, but the fragrance transfers to the ash, so it is better to use a separate incense burner for kneaded incense (neriko).


Recommended For Advanced Practitioners
Mon-koh


Needed items

Mon-koh incense burner

Mon-koh incense burner

Ash for incense burners

Ash for incense burners

Mica plate (Ginyo)

Mica plate (Ginyo)

Ceremonial Charcoal (Koh-tadon)

Ceremonial Charcoal (Koh-tadon)

Incense Utensils

Incense Utensils

Mon-koh instruction

Way of burning

Keeping the Ceremonial Charcoal (Koh-tadon) heated until the heat spreads well.

You can use electrothermic equipment or cooking stove to keep the charcoal heated.
On the photo, we have used the electrothermic equipment. If you are going to use a cooking stove, use a metal net and then heat the Koh-tadon charcoal over it.

Way of burning

Making a hole with metal chopsticks.

Stir the ash gently with metal chopsticks* from the bottom of the burner to put some air.
* If you don`t have the metal chopsticks, you can use the splittable ones.
Make a hole in the middle of the incense burner in the size to place the Koh-tadon charcoal inside of it.

Way of burning

Placing the charcoal into the ash.

Place the charcoal, which surface became grayish-white, into the previously made hole, paying attention not to get burned oneself.

Way of burning

Covering the charcoal with ash and creating a mountain-like shape.

Hold the burner in your left hand and, while rotating it anti-clockwise direction,
hold the metal chopsticks in your right hand and cover the charcoal with ash to create a mountain-like shape.

Way of burning

Adjusting the ash surface with the ash press.

Rotate the burner in your left hand anti-clockwise and use the ash press to adjust the mountain-like shape. The point is not to press, but to adjust the ash with the ash press. Pay attention not to destroy the mountain-like shape. If you put too much ash over or press it too much, the charcoal may extinguish.

Way of burning

Making of Kiki-suji line and air hole.

Take one of the chopsticks and draw a shallow line (Kiki-suji) on the slope of the mountain to mark the front of your burner. Make an air hole with a chopstick from the top of the mountain straight down to the charcoal. Please, pay attention to draw the Kiki-suji line in alignment with the front leg of your burner to indicate the front of the burner properly.

Way of burning

Placing the mica plate over the air hole.

Using the silver tweezers, put the mica plate horizontally over the air hole.
While placing pay attention to match the center of the mica plate with the hole.
Press the mica plate lightly with the tweezers to be sure that it is fixed well.

Way of burning

Placing the kneaded incense (neriko) over the mica plate

Place the incense gently in the middle of the mica plate.
If you notice the smoke over the incense, remove the mica plate and cover the charcoal with ash again or
press the charcoal with the metal chopsticks to keep it at more distance.

[Hints]
・The way of drawing Kiki-suji lines and orientation of the mica plate differ from incense schools.
・The mica plate becomes very hot, so do not touch it with your bare hands!

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