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Cultural Activities

Nippon Kodo's Cultural Activities

Nippon Kodo has continued to hold “Kodo Kyoushitsu” (Art of Fragrance Classrooms) for several decades in order to pass down the unique history and depth of “Japanese fragrance culture” to later generations. In addition, all of our company’s employees have actively cooperated in supporting activities in a variety of areas such as fragrance related lectures and publishing. We have also held Kodo demonstrations in various countries outside of Japan, including the United States, Argentina, Brazil and France. We are focused on efforts to introduce Japan’s fragrance culture to people the world over. Moreover, we also carry out public exhibitions and cooperate with events and projects which are not fragrance related but make important cultural contributions. We have held the “Furusato Obon Festival Memories Painting Contest” as a sponsor since 2000 in order to remind modern children of the Obon festival traditions long handed down throughout Japan’s history. Thanks to the generous support of all involved, we are able to continue to hold and develop the contest as one of the largest in Japan. We look forward to being able to continue making contributions, small though they may be, to the continuing spread of Japan’s traditional “fragrance culture” and other cultural elements which deserver to be passed on to later generations and the rest of the world through a variety of activities.

Introduction of “kodo” at the New York United NationsHeadquarters (1982) Furusato Obon Festival Memories Painting Contest awards ceremony (2008) Kodo ceremony demonstration at University of Illinois’ Japan House

Nippon Kodo’s Culture Support Activities


January Sponsored the BS Japan new year’s program “Continuation of the Profound Art of Kodo – Over 500 years” as a Nippon Kodo special.
March-April Held the “Kodomo Kaigakan in Odaiba” event at the Fuji Television Headquarters in Odaiba Tokyo to present the winners of the “Furusato Obon Festival Memories Painting Contest”. The event was a huge success with an attendance of over 200,000 throughout the event period.
April Held the first reintroduction of Kodo in the United States in a quarter of a century. Kodo ceremony demonstrations were held at various locations including the Chicago consulate, University of Illinois and Orlando’s Disney World, with the attendance at each location greatly surpassing all expectations.
April-June Cooperated with the “Pegasus and the heavenly horses - Thundering Hoofs on the Silk Road” special exhibition at the Nara National Museum.
June Cooperated in the “The Seduction of the Tale of Genji” special event held at the Sai-no-Kuni Saitama Arts Theater for the 1000th anniversary of the Tale of Genji with fragrance production for the reproduced takimono scents.
June-July Cooperated in the “ Horyuji National Treasures Exhibition ” at the Nara National Museum.


April Supported the special exhibition "Shinbutsu Shugo: The Weaving of Gods and Buddhas in Faith & Art" at the Nara National Museum.
September Supported the special exhibition "Luxurious Beauty - The Paintings of the Insei Cloistered Government Era" at the Nara National Museum. Participated in the open demonstration "Enjoying Fragrance Culture" that was held during the event period.


February Cooperated in the production of recreated incense fragrances composed in the manner of Heian era for the "International Orchid Festival Grand Prix 2006" held at Tokyo Dome.
March-May Supported the "Saicho and Treasures of Tendai" exhibition held at the Tokyo National Museum in honor of the 1200th anniversary of the founding of the Tendai Buddhist Sect.
October-December Supported the special exhibition "Shaping Faith - Japanese Ichiboku Buddhist Statues" held at the Tokyo National Museum.


October-November Supported the "Saicho and Treasures of Tendai" exhibition held at the Kyoto National Museum in honor of the 1200th anniversary of the founding of the Tendai Buddhist Sect.


May Introduced Kodo in Grasse in southern France. Carried out a kodo ceremony demonstration in Grasse, the southern French former capital, renowned as a source of fragrance related information. We were able to introduce Japanese fragrance culture to a variety of people who attended during the Rose De Mai rose festival event period including fragrance interested persons and rose lovers from all over the world as well as people related to the fragrance industry in Grasse. Solemn yet spectacular Kodo garnered an intense amount of interest as an important and subtle piece of culture amongst the backdrop of rose petals scattered from the roses blooming on every street corner.


April Supported the "Todaiji - Rushanabutsu Floral Tribute 2002" performance (Izumi Motoya/Nishikiori Ken) commemorating the 1250th anniversary of the consecration of the great Buddha statue at the Todaiji Temple.
October Implemented and managed a kodo event at the "Praemium Imperiale" awards ceremony. The traditional Japanese kodo ceremony was introduced to a total of approximately 270 guests including Prince and Princess Hitachi, award recipients from various countries, prominent political and business figures, important cultural figures, and ambassadors from various countries presented by the head of the Oie school of the art of incense, Sanjo Gyosui and his disciples. Nippon Kodo carried out the overall implementation and management of the event. Also cooperated with the "monko" fragrance sampling at the same event in 2003 and 2005 thereafter.


October Introduced kodo in San Paulo Brazil and Buenos Aires Argentina. This was the first introduction of Japanese fragrance culture to both countries. Kodo ceremonies were held as cultural exchange events for local prominent cultural figures and residents of Japanese heritage at the University of San Paulo as well as other educational and cultural facilities. The events were widely reported in local newspapers and on television news. (This was recognized as a Japan Foundation dispatch activity)


July-December Held the first "Furusato Obon Festival Memories Painting Contest ". It has continued as an annual event every year thereafter. The contest was approved as a part of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology "Speak with Children" national campaign in 2002 and as a part of the "Build a Place for the Children" campaign, which was an expansion of the original campaign, from 2004 onwards.
May/October Collaboratively participated with the Sogetsu school in the "Itsukushima Hana-butai Stage" charity event for the renovation of the Hiroshima Itsukushima Shinto Shrine. The production was carried out accompanied by the scent of the original incense on the noh stage of the same shrine, an important cultural asset, where Togi Hideki, Nomura Mansai and Nishikiori Ken had performed.
July For Nibon (the first festival of the dead in July) a special stage was erected in the JR Tokyo Station Yaesu exit concourse where the "Station Stage - Furusato Obon Arbor" event was held. The program, whose purpose to allow visitors to enjoy Obon through a variety of acts and arts which are performed and displayed including kobanashi comedic chats by the Sanyu-tei Enraku school, Edo-Daikagura Shinto music and dancing, traditional magic, and demonstration of Yosemoji calligraphy and to evoke a "kokoro no furusato" or "home in the heart", was met with approval from many quarters.
August Held the "Urabon-e" event that received such good reviews the previous year again, moving the location to the Hankyu Sun Hiroba in Umeda Osaka. Just before entering Kyuubon (August), a 4.8m high tombstone was erected on the stage to provide the busy modern day people with an opportunity to pay respects to their ancestors, and the event received a huge response just as when it was held in Tokyo.
October Supported the Sogetsu school event planned to support the " Numazu Imperial Villa Memorial Park" in Numazu city Shizuoka prefecture, and provided fragrance production for the site (Performed by Nomura Mansai and Nishikiori Ken).


July Held the "Tokyo Urabon-e" event at Shinjuku Station Square in Tokyo. A 4.8m high tombstone was erected on the special stage just before entering Nibon (July) as an experiment to allow the busy modern day people to pay their respects to their ancestors, the event was extremely well received by participants and was widely reported in a variety of mass media.


September-October Supported the "Bologna Opera House Japan Performance".
March Produced a fragrance and light performance for the Nagano Paralympics Winter Sporting Competition. Using the concept of "An event where the disabled from the world over assemble in one place, and through the shared culture of sports expand the spirit of friendship and international goodwill, and are able to find new possibilities nourished by dreams and courage" as our central theme, we welcomed the athletes of each country by burning hinoki incense at the athlete entrance and within the field during the opening ceremonies, welcoming them with fragrances suited to the location of the event. In addition, a giant candle purpose-designed by our company was used for the light of the torch bearer to celebrate the holding of the games. Further, the same fragrances were used for the closing ceremony, and the candle provided by our company was used again for the final climatic scene of the sacred flame being passed on, being used for as an effect to top of the emotion of the event during the solemn closing ceremonies.