Warousoku candles originated in Japan with the introduction of Buddhism, and are based on a candle dating back to the Nara period, which was made of wax collected from beehives. In the Edo period, the cultivation of haze, a raw material used in warousoku, flourished in Kyushu and Shikoku, and these candles became widely used. Today, only a handful of craftsmen remain making warousoku, and Takazawa Candle Company is carrying on the tradition.

There are two traditional shapes of Warousoku; ikarigata and bougata. The term ikarigata is derived from the anchor of a ship, 'ikari' in Japanese. Thus, Ikarigata are "anchor-shaped"- wider at each tip and narrow in the center. The beauty of this form follows its function; the upper part was designed to widen at the top to prevent wax from trailing down the candle after it had been lit. The other shape, bougata is a more slender, straight cylindrical form. Takazawa uses primarily the ikarigata shape.  

The candles are crafted from different plant waxes, such as rapeseed (canola), coconut oil or rice bran.  The Megumi rice bran candles have a deeper orange flame, while the Nanohana rapeseed tapers are scentless.

The wick is made by wrapping a dried reed around a washi paper cylinder. This technique allows air to pass up from the bottom of the candle through the wick's hollow core, and enables the wick to absorb more melted wax. This improves combustion, giving the candle its characteristic tall, high-intensity flame with minimal smoke.

 Though these candles are so traditional, they are acutely modern, with their strong graphic shapes and colours. The Nanao set is based off traditional designs, and the Rosuku set includes a variety of the different types, plus one black candle that is hand painted with flowers. The candles are perfect for different occasions, and even look great out on display.


See the Takazawa Candles HERE