Matsu Takaoka Incense Burner
The magnificent Matsu incense burner is made of bronze from Takaoka, Toyama prefecture in Japan. « The three friends that grow in the wintertime » are represented on it, being together a symbol of good omen, known as Sho Shiku Bai: the pine, the plum tree and the bamboo. The pine, which resists to the harshness of winter, symbolises immortality and perseverance; the bamboo, as it is flexible and tough, symbolises loyalty; the plum tree, which blooms before thaw, represents courage and revival.
In Japan, these magnificent incense burners make a precious gift and are considered an essential part of home decoration. They are filled with pressed rice ashes where incense sticks are nailed. Having no bamboo core, they will burn completely without leaving a trace.
Takaoka cast iron tradition
In 1611, Maeda Toshinaga, lord of Kaga domain in the town of Takaoka, invited seven metal casters in order to stimulate the economy of the region. His decision was the beginning of a long tradition of cast iron in Takaoka, as the know-how has passed on from one generation to the next till now. In spite of declining in the last few decades, Takaoka region is still now the main cast iron production area in Japan.