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Updated: 22 May 2024

Antique Japanese
Incense Container Kougou
(Tea Tool-23)


Delivery Time: Approx. 5-14 days
*Delivery may take longer, depending on countries or holiday seasons.


Diameter Height
10.5cm 5.5cm

You can enlarge all the photos to see the detail of the item.

In stock

SKU: Tea Tool-23 Categories: , ,

 This item is the Kougou (香合), a container used to hold incense for burning incense in a tea room. In Japan, the custom of burning incense spread with the introduction of Buddhism as far back as the Asuka period (593-710) and was later incorporated into the world of tea ceremony. There is a deep connection between the tea ceremony and incense, and incense is used to purify the spirit of the people who gather in the tea room as well as to purify the tea room. Incense containers could be broadly classified into three types. The Furoyou (風炉用) are made from lacquered materials, bare wood, and bamboo. And the Royou (炉用) are ceramics. In addition, these two types of dual-purpose incense containers are made of shellfish such as clams or metal. There are a variety of incense container designs, and usually, motifs include things familiar to our daily lives, such as animals, plants, people, and household items. Due to their high design quality, incense containers have been enjoyed not only by tea ceremony masters but also by the general public as interior decorations.

 We think the principal plants depicted on this work are the Ajisai (紫陽花, hydrangeas) flowers. Hydrangeas are native to Japan, and Japanese people have admired this flower since ancient times. In the Manyoshu (万葉集, Man’yōshū), created during the Nara period (710-784), and also in the Wakas (和歌, Japanese poems) of the Heian period (784/794-1185), many poems about hydrangea remain. In the Kamakura period (1185-1333), this flower began to be grown as an ornamental. From their appearance of blooming in full bloom, people believed that this plant would “accomplish many things.” And it also came to be considered an auspicious flower among military commanders. According to a theory, hydrangeas became frequently used as patterns after the Edo period. Their large bluish-purple flowers were skillfully patterned into crafts by artists of the Rinpa (琳派) school.

 *As this item is an antique, please check each photo and ensure its condition.

【About us】
 Samurai Museum is located in Tokyo, Japan, exhibiting antique artifacts related to the Samurai history. Samurai Museum Shop is the place for those who are interested in Japanese culture and craftsmanship. We deal with antique Samurai swords/armor, traditional crafts made in Japan and so on.

【Payment method】
 We accept payment through Stripe (Credit card), PayPal, Apple Pay or ChromePay, all of which are secure payment methods. Also, you don’t need to make an account on Stripe for the checkout. If you prefer other payment method, please contact us. You may either pay in JPY, USD, AUD, CAD, EUR, CHF or GBP. The price is set in Japanese Yen. Prices in other currencies are automatically calculated based on the latest exchange rate. 

【Shipping duration】
 We normally ship via EMS (Express Mail Service) provided by Japan Post. It usually takes at least 5-14 days to deliver the package after you place an order. Time of delivery is estimated as accurately as possible by the carrier but does not take into account any delays beyond our control such as by inclement weather, post office holiday seasons.

 We offer Free International Shipping as long as we can ship your order by EMS. If you prefer other shipping carriers, please contact us.  
 We will inform you of the order’s tracking number via email. Please make sure you fill out your valid email address correctly. 

【How to make sure the condition】
 Please keep in mind that what you are going to purchase is an antique item. We uploaded high resolution photos for you to check its condition thoroughly. If you like to see more photos with different angles, please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to send them to you so that you can make informed decision.

 It is essential for us to know that you are happy with your choice of antique item and we are prepared to use the best of our ability to serve you.

 Would you like see some more antique items for sale? Please check the link below. We hope you can find your favorite item.

In stock

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