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Japanese Traditional Craft Resource Center Category


Japanese Traditional Craft

Craft Category Livingware
Name Wa-rosoku: Japanese Candle

Main Production Site:Ehime

Wa-rosoku, a Japanese candle is a handiwork carefully made by craftsmen. Mokuro is the material for wa-rosoku, which is Japanese wax made by crushing, steaming and condensing berries of certain sumacs. The inherited techniques and cultivated intuition of the craftsmen is relied upon during the manufacturing process. Wa-rosoku uses natural materials and the cut end looks like the annual rings of a tree as the wax is layered several times. It is simple and elegant as it does not have any color or painting. Carefully manufactured wa-rosoku has a warm and gentle flame, does not produce much soot, and lasts long as it gutters down less.

[Traditional Specialty of Ehime Prefecture]
Source: Omori Wa-rosoku-ya / Omori Japanese Candle Company 
Translation: Marina Izumi, reviewed by Catherine Newman

Materials Mokuro (Japanese wax)
Crafting Processes [Raw material]
Mokuro is the material for wa-rosoku, which is Japanese wax made by crushing, steaming and condensing berries of certain sumacs.

[1] To make the wick of the candle, wind Japanese paper and the pith of soft rush around a bamboo skewer and fix it with floss.

[2] Scoop some melted wax of about 40℃-45℃ up with bare hands, smear the wax on the skewer with the wick while rolling it, and dry. This process is repeated multiple times to make it larger little by little. It is called Kigake.

[3] Polish the candle with melted wax of 50℃. The unique olive-colored candle is made this way.

[4] With an iron heated by charcoal fire, remove the unnecessary wax while being careful not to cut the wick. Then pull out the bamboo skewer.
It consists of several layers, and looks like a Baumkuchen (or the annual rings of a tree).

[5] Cut candles to the same length.
History Uchiko, located in Ehime Prefecture in northwestern Japan, flourished for washi (Japanese paper) and mokuro (Japanese wax) from the late Edo period to the Meiji period. Uchiko is located in the central area of Ehime prefecture, 40km away from the capital city of Ehime Prefecture, Matsuyama. The quality of mokuro produced in Uchiko has been highly valued not only in Japan but also overseas, and made the city prosper. Traditional buildings from those days remain even today. The area of Uchiko town, “Yōkaichi-gokoku district” is designated by the government as “Groups of Traditional Buildings”, which are a category of Japanese traditional buildings that should be preserved.

◆Exhibition / Showcase
Omori Japanese Candle Company (Japanese Only)
2214 Ucihko, Uchiko-cho, Kita-gun, Ehime, 791-3301
Tel/fax : 0893-43-0385

Opening Hours: 9:00AM-5:00PM
Closed: Tuesday and Friday
Parking: 1 space
*15 minutes walk from Uchiko Station

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