Echizen Candles

Japanese candles are mainly used as votive offerings at temples, and are noted for their delicate wavering flame. Kodaikokuya has been making Japanese candles for more than 100 years for the pious people of Echizen and beyond. The candles are made by pouring hot wax into a cylindrical candle mold made of wood, with a wick of Japanese paper standing in its center. The wax is made from the nut of the Japanese sumac and lacquer tree. The most difficult task is to keep the wax at the proper temperature. If it is too hot, the candle's Surface becomes wrinkled; if the temperature is too low, the wax does not flow into all parts of the mold. The candle maker judges the temperature by watching and touching the film that forms on the surface of the wax as it cools. This skill is purely the result of experience and intuition. and dedication; in winter the candles become parched and cracked in the dry air, while in summer the temperature in the workshop can rise to 40 degrees Celsius.
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