Crafted in Japan, Hibi Incense Matches combine the traditional incense of Awaji Island with the matches of Harima. The result is a unique style of fragrance that requires no additional lighting device.
Designing Hibi took master craftsmen over three years to perfect, using a combination of trail and error, and traditional skills. Each small Hibi box contains 8 fragrant incense matches, along with a specially designed heat resistant mat on which to lay the match as the tendrils of fragrant smoke curl up into the air.
Matches of Harima
Utilising the techniques coming from Europe, domestic production of matches started at the beginning of the Meiji period. Later, Japanese matches became so popular as export goods, thanks to the quality, that match manufacturing developed as a specialist local industry of Hyogo, including in Harima.
Incense of Awaji Island
Incense manufacturing technique was brought to Awaji Island by craftsmen of Sakai in 1850 during the last days of the Tokugawa shogunate. Thanks to the westerly winds that are characteristic of the island and ideal for drying incense Awaji Island has become the biggest incense manufacturer in Japan.
How To Use Hibi Incense Matches
The incense is delicate. Be careful when using it, as it may break if you don’t strike it correctly.
Remove the package film. Pull the perforated part of the film sideways to the left and right to open the package.
Take out a stick of hibi and press its top tip against the brown rough surface on the side of the box (the side for striking) at an angle of 45 degrees, and scrape it diagonally down to light it.
Hold the stick at its mid-point as it might break easily if you hold the far tip of the stick to strike it.
Once it’s lit, hold it in a slightly head-down tilted position than in a horizontal position, and keep holding it until the flame spreads to the incense part and the flame settles on its own.
If you put out the flame hastily before it settles, the fire many not spread to its incense part or the smell of the match may affect the initial fragrance of the incense because the flammable material in the match head (ignition material) may not have burned completely.
Lay the stick on hibi’s exclusive mat and enjoy the scent for around 10 minutes. You can put it on the desk as the exclusive mat and tray are heat-resistant. If you are concerned, place it on top of the slide cover of the box to ensure safety.
Don’t leave the area until the stick has burnt out. Burning more than one stick at a time is dangerous, as it will cause overheating of the mat. Be sure to burn only one stick at a time.
After the match has burnt out, lift the stick together with the mat and throw away any remaining ash.
Each time you use Hibi, you should make sure there is no residual ash left on the mat as this may cause the scents to mix and not be as enjoyable.