Takazawa Candle has been handcrafting candles formed from the grace of plants since 1892. Working in harmony with Japan’s natural landscape each candle is made of plants such as the fruits of the sumac tree, rice bran and rapeseed flower oil.
Originating from China, the first candles brought to Japan in the 8th century were made from bees wax. Bees wax was an unfamiliar material to the people of Japan and so they explored crafting candles from plant derived materials. Sumac wax became the wax of choice as it was soft and malleable and easily formed into the shape of a candle and by the 16th century became the standard material for candle making in Japan.
Takazawa candles’ flames are larger and burn brighter than others. This is due to the unique wicks made from a particularly special recipe dating back to the 16th century which is a symbol of ancestral wisdom. This was a time when lighting came only from candles and as such a lot of thought was put into creating candles to emit brighter light. The wick is made from plant-based materials such as dried rush and washi-paper which is symbolic of the symbiotic relationship between ancestors and nature.
"The powerful flame, flickering from the simple silhouette of a candle, producing shadows in a room, creates a great atmosphere that makes you feel relaxed while you spend time with your family and close friends."
The sumac wax used to form candles was brought from Kyushu region and Japanese paper (wa-shi) from Iwami (in Shimane Prefecture), used for wicks, were brought to Nanao for the production of candles. The finished product was then transported throughout Japan by Kitamae ship. There were many guilds which made candles in Nanao until the late 19th century. Today, Takazawa Candle are the only candle maker to keeps this tradition alive in Nanao since their conception in 1892.
Images courtesy of Takazawa Candle