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Warosoku Daiyo

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Warosoku Daiyo

In 1914, Yoichiro Onishi became a candlemaker apprentice upon his parents' suggestion. After coming back to his hometown in ​Shiga prefecture's Takashima City, he started Daiyo, his own candle-making practice. Since then, the 104-year-old business has been kept in the family and is presently at the hands of its fourth-generation maker, Satoshi Onishi.


"At first, we had a tough time because we couldn't afford to buy wax in bulk so we were swayed by wax wholesalers with price and quality issues until we started working on various raw materials instead of wax," says Satoshi san.

The solution to that came in the form of Akihiro Onishi, Daiyo's third generation candle-maker, who started using wax from ha-ze, a specific lacquer tree that only grows in Japan. The wax squeezed from its wooden fruit has been used to make Japanese traditional candles ("warousoku") since ancient times. The ha-ze candle changed the fate of Daiyo. "We shifted to a manufacturing process that emphasizes quality rather than price."



Candles made with ha-ze wax are highly prized; they are handcrafted by artisans using 100% sustainable plant-based ingredients with traditional techniques perfected by Daiyo in Shiga prefecture. These candles give very little soot with almost no drip and the flame is bigger and brighter than that of modern paraffin candles.

In addition to ha-ze, Daiyo uses rice bran wax. Rice bran wax candles are great alternatives to paraffin wax candles because rice bran is sustainable, vegan, and gentle to earth and to humans. They burn cleanly and do not give soot. Compared to other wax or paraffin candles, rice bran wax candles burn longer with a more stable and brighter flame.  




"In Japan, we do not only light a candle but also use fire itself. The role of a candle is to connect people with fire; in other words, to build a relationship between nature and people. When a candle is lit, people gaze at various things in the fire. The synchrony of the fluttering flame can gently touch the heart of a person sitting closely to a fire. The flame energizes our huge capacity for acceptance, its flickering as soothing as the stroking we received when we were young. This is a feeling that comes from harmony between nature and people."





Daiyo's Japanese candles are made only with natural and sustainable materials. The fluffy and large flame is due to the delicate balance they create between the wick and the wax, ensuring the wax burns without dripping and smoke.

"We choose our raw materials based on their balance with good combustion. Is the raw material sustainable, burns well, and is it ethically correct to use this wax as a raw material to make candles? We make our products from various perspectives including whether the wax is traded at a reasonable price."

Japanese candles are fragrance-free and are used for contemplative moments. "The most common ones are prayer scenes, but as mentioned before, we continually try to approach many people based on our essential relationship with fire, the characteristics of plant nature, and the inclusiveness of the flame."

"The burning time differs depending on the size of our candles, so it's best to use it properly in the right place. Lighting a candle during a bath makes the experience unexpectedly much better. There is no doubt that it will be an extremely relaxing time. If the burning time is relatively short, use it to mark the time during yoga meditation or before going to bed. The former is done by many overseas users, while the latter is a natural way to carry the evening hours and mark the moment between day and night," recommends Satoshi san.















"The present age is an unstable time. The number of people who light candles in their lives is increasing, and it seems that we are seeking not only healing but also warmth of life."


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