• Nakamura Rousoku Image
  • Nakamura Rousoku Image


Japanese traditional candles are made from only natural plant material and each one is filled with artisans' devotion.
Nakamura Rousoku was founded in 1887 and still has been passionately making Japanese traditional candles for more than 125 years.
Nowadays, we actively engage in various activities, such as participation in Japanese wax tree Cultivation Projects because the row material, the fruit of the Japanese wax tree has become scarce.
Other than that, we are also developing stylish scented candles, and holding hands-on workshops as to connect with the next generation.
We still continue to devote ourselves to conveying the beauty of Japanese candles to as many people as possible.

Artifact Information

Artifact NameJapanese Candles
History Candles were introduced into Japan during the Nara period (710~).
Beeswax candles are said to have initially come from China along with Buddhism.
From the Muromachi period, people began creating modern style Japanese candles made from wax trees, and usage of this style of Japanese candle peaked during the time from the late Edo period through to the Meiji period.
However, production of Japanese candles has been placed in a difficult situation due to western candles and the rapid proliferation of electricity reducing the need for candles themselves and following the total destruction of wax trees in Nagasaki, the main production area, by the eruption of Mt. Unzen Fugen-dake (1991).

Japanese Candles

Production Process

1. Insert Wicks.
Insert Wicks Wicks, the cores of which have been wrapped in grass, are inserted into skewers.
2. Place wicks in wooden molds.
Place wicks in wooden moldsThe wooden molds are warmed in moderately hot water to prevent hardening the wax poured in in the next step due to temperature differences.
3. Pour wax into the wooden molds.
Pour wax into the wooden moldsWax is poured into the wooden molds containing the wicks and make it solid state.
4. Remove the materials.
生地を取り出す②The candle materials, formed by pouring in tree and vegetable wax, are removed.
5. Apply finishing coats of wax.
Apply finishing coats of waxWell-kneaded finishing wax is rubbed on the materials by hand.
6. Adjust the shape.
形を整える①Shapes are adjusted by removing any excess finishing wax stuck to the upper portion of the candle around the wick and to the bottom.
7. Rod-type natural plant candles are completed.
*When making picture candles, the artist then draws on a pattern.

The Characteristic of Japanese candle

As they are made of pure vegetable matter, they produce little smoke and give off the faint scent of melted wax.
The wax liquefies when the candle is lit, but the liquid is absorbed into the wick and evaporates along with the flame, so there is very little dripping.
Also, as there is little soot produced, it can easily be wiped away even when dirty.

1/f Fluctuations

Things that feel comfortable to us, such as the swaying motion of a train and people’s minds, the sound of a babbling brook, the light of a firefly, healing music, etc., are said to contain “1/f Fluctuations.”
The reason it is relaxing to watch the light from a Japanese candle or Kyoto-style candle is because the flame produces fluctuations very close to this “1/f Fluctuation.”
*”1/f Fluctuation” refers to fluctuations in power (spectral density) inversely proportional to the F frequency.


Perfect material: Wax tree

The reason wax trees are the perfect material for making Japanese candles is because they give off little vapor and are all-natural, so they are not harmful to people.
Wax trees are also cherished as the raw ingredient for Japanese candles because, while simultaneously being highly resistant to wind, the way the flame sways even in the absence of wind is mysterious and profound.

Maintenance for a candlestand

After using a Japanese candle, placing the candle stand in warm water will melt the wax, so the candle stand remains clean without scrubbing, which could damage it.
*Please be careful when using hot water

The difference of the Japanese candle and Western candle

The flame from a Japanese candle is immediately recognizable as different from a western candle.
The large and swaying flame of a Japanese candle has a mystique and atmosphere that gives the impression of having a mind of its own.
The secret behind this difference lies in how Japanese candles are constructed.
Japanese candles have hollow cores, and air flowing into the candle causes the flame to sway.

Japanese candleWestern candle
Raw materialNatural plants: Japanese wax tree, Rice branpetroleum: Paraffin wax
WickMade of tatami rushesMade of thread
Production methodLimited-production by handMass-produced by machines
FlameThick wick prevents flame from being blown out easilyEasily blown out by wind

The essential factor

As the wick in a Japanese candle burns over time, the flame grows much larger as the wick blackens and carbonizes but remains in place.
Therefore, after burning for about 1 - 2 hours, the safe way to use the candle is to control the size of the flame by adjusting the length of the wick by holding and cutting the wick with a candle wick trimmer or some other tool. (This process is called wick trimming.)
*Please use a dedicated candle wick trimmer.

Important notes

・When lighting a candle, please stand the candle in an appropriately-sized candlestand and place the candle in a location where the flame is always in view.
・Please DO NOT place easily flammable objects near the candle.
・Please DO NOT use in areas with strong wind.
・Please be especially CAREFUL because the flame of a Japanese candle can easily become large due to their thick wicks.
・Please DO NOT touch the candle stand or candle when burning or immediately after extinguishing as it could result in skin burns.
・If you notice the wick remaining in place while burning, please use a candle wick trimmer to cut the wick down to a length of 1 - 2cm.
・Please remove the wrapping paper before use.
・When storing, please avoid areas in direct sunlight and areas of high temperature and humidity.
*Storage in these areas could result in discoloration or deformation.
・As the candles are made using vegetable-based wax, they will develop a coating of white powder over time, but this causes no problems in usage.
*Please wipe off using a soft cloth.


Shop Information

Nakamura Rousoku

Postal Code
57-8 Takeda-Kitamitsuguicho, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto Japan
Business hours
Sundays, public holidays, 2nd/4th Saturdays
Shop/ Gallery
Admission free
[Making your own candle with painting]
Fee *each person: JPY 5,500
Required time: 1.5 h. - 2 h.
By advanced reservation only
To make a reservation, contact: [email protected]

店舗外観At our workshop, you can observe the production process of Japanese candles as well as making it for yourself.
Please come to enjoy and experience the world of Japanese candle through observation and creation.