takazawacandle official site Q&A – takazawacandle
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What’s the historical significance of sumac wax in Takazawa Candle’s heritage?

For traditional Japanese candles, the presence of wax extracted from sumac berries is of great significance. In the 16th century, it appears that saplings of sumac were imported from China or Southeast Asia and cultivated in Japan to extract wax from their berries.

What’s the historical significance of sumac wax in Takazawa Candle’s heritage?

The exact origins of the unique wick-making process for traditional Japanese candles, as we know them today, remain unclear. However, we hold this distinctive method and the materials used for the wick in high regard. The materials we use for the wick include washi paper, rush grass, and cotton.

Why is using plant-based materials like dried rush and washi-paper essential for your candle wicks?

Rather than consciously choosing plant-based materials, it’s more a reflection of the longstanding Japanese tradition of utilizing resources from nature. In Japan, there is a concept known as ‘Satoyama,’ which represents the area where people live and coexist with nature. People have adapted to these environments by making slight interventions in nature to obtain food, fuel, and materials for crafting, such as bamboo and wood.

How has Nanao’s history influenced your approach to craftsmanship and sustainability?

Nanao’s geographical features are defined by its position on a bay within a peninsula. This natural harbor thrived as a significant port, and as a result, the materials for making traditional Japanese candles in Nanao were transported by ships from various parts of Japan. Nanao became a hub for training skilled candle artisans who handcrafted these candles, which were then shipped to different regions of Japan.

Tell us about your sustainable sourcing practices for materials like sumac wax and Japanese paper.

We believe in the continuous use of plant-based materials as the raw materials for our Japanese candles. Regarding sumac wax, we actively engage in reforestation efforts at its source. We see our commitment to using these materials as contributing to the stability of the source region’s production and ensuring consistent supply.

What makes Takazawa Candle’s traditional process different from modern candle-making in terms of sustainability and craftsmanship?

Modern candle makers have largely embraced mechanization, which often leads to a preference for stable and uniform materials in their products. In contrast, the materials we use, such as plant-based wax and washi paper, can vary in quality and texture, sometimes even seasonally or yearly.

How do you source and use local forest thinnings from the Noto peninsula?

In Japan, there is a concept known as ‘Satoyama,’ which refers to areas located between human settlements and nature. In these areas, people have traditionally managed the land to obtain food and fuel from nature. In our factory, we use thinnings from the local forests as fuel.

Can you briefly explain the steps in making a traditional Japanese candle at Takazawa Candle?

First, we create the core of the candle. We use Japanese paper and rush grass. Each core is meticulously handcrafted, rolled one by one. Afterward, we proceed to make the candle itself.

How does the unique silhouette and powerful flame of your candles create a special atmosphere?

The strong flame is a result of the candle’s core structure and materials. We create the candle wick to be hollow, similar to a straw, to facilitate the intake of air. This design allows the flame to draw in air while burning, resulting in a larger and more robust flame. Additionally, the flickering of the flame is also influenced by this structural design.

What’s the company’s vision for balancing tradition, sustainability, and modern design?

Our company’s vision revolves around the concept of ‘harmonizing with the Satoyama, cherishing the blessings of nature.’ Satoyama is a Japanese notion that embodies the wisdom of coexistence between humans and nature. In the manufacturing of our traditional Japanese candles, we utilize the gifts of Satoyama, such as plant-derived wax and paper made from plants, harnessing the energy of these natural resources.

11 Ipponsugi, Nanao City, Ishikawa Prefecture 9260806 Japan
+81 767 53 3692
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