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Kōgō 香合 (incense boxes)

Kōgō 香合 (incense boxes) are meant to hold the fragrant wood chips or granulated incense that are traditionally used on formal occasions such as tea or incense ceremonies. They may be made in a great variety of shapes and from an array of materials—pottery, lacquered wood, metal, etc.

Incense boxes used in the tea ceremony may be classified as two types, furo and ro. Furoyō 風炉用—literally the portable brazier used in summer—refers to the summer season (May to October). Incense boxes used during this season are made of lacquerware, decorated with summer and autumnal motifs and used to store "dry" incense such as pieces of sandalwood. Boxes used in the royō 炉用 season—literally the fire pit used in winter—hold "wet" incense (powder rolled into little balls) and are therefore typically made of ceramic ware. For a partial listing of ceramic styles see Types of Japanese Ceramic Ware.

For more information see Suggested Readings.

Kōgō Gallery 1

Kōgō Gallery 2

Kōgō Gallery 3

Kōgō Gallery 4

Kōgō Gallery 5

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