Kungyokudo Incense in the Noguchi Museum Shop

The Noguchi Museum Shop is among the few United States retailers of Japan’s oldest incense house, Kungyokudo.

In 1594, Riemon Ouno opened Kungyokudo directly across from the Hongwanji Temple in Kyoto to provide incense and medicine to the monks of the Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha Buddhist school. The incense house is currently led by his 22nd-generation descendant, Kazuo Ouno, and his wife, Chihaya Ouno.

The Museum Shop offers a number of different scents by Kungyokudo, including traditional incense made of scented wood, sandalwood, and agarwood, the first recorded incense used in Japan in 595 CE. It also showcases more contemporary, natural blends of sandalwood with additional ingredients, including roasted seashells, spikenard, and camphor. Each blended scent is named for a landmark or neighborhood of Kyoto, such as the Otowa Waterfall at Kiyomizu Temple, or the tea-growing community of Uji just outside Kyoto city.

Kungyokudo’s incense is available only in person at the Museum Shop. For more information, contact shop@noguchi.org.

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