Warosoku Candles Handmade in Omi
Daiyo (Shiga Prefecture)
Teaching people about Warosoku candles
Takashima city is located on the western side of Biwako lake in Shiga prefecture. Founder Yuichiro Onishi started Daiyo in 1914 in the city’s Imazu-cho district, which was flourishing as a port town. Based in the Omi region, Daiyo is a long-established maker of Warasoku candles, with over 100 years of history. The plant that comprises the candle wax (called hazero) provides the optimal appeal, with a soft, beautiful flame, and minimal smoke. The material is highly rare and expensive within Japan, and procuring it becomes more and more difficult each year. There are only 10 artisans in the entire country who have mastered the manual techniques – passed down from long ago – required to make Warosoku candles, which even requires that the wax be hand made. It can take 10 years just to acquire the initial skills to make the candles. After spending time researching the candle materials, third generation company head Akihiro Onishi had Daiyo’s Warosoku candles designated as a traditional artisanal craft in 1984 in an effort to continue to protect the material, artisanal method, and tradition.
Daiyo is most famous for its hazero wax candles. In addition to manufacturing the traditional wax, the company has long researched the rice bran the wax is derived from in order to teach people about Wasoroku candles. “Western candles are made out of an oil-based paraffin, while the material in Wasoroku candles is derived from renewable, natural sources. The candles are made from rice, a typical Japanese ingredient that everyone is familiar with. The rice wax also burns steady. With the product held in high regard, we received the Good Design Award (SME Agency Award) in 2011,” says fourth generation company head Satoshi Onishi. While Satoshi is also a craftsman of the candles, he is planning events that take advantage of the Wasoroku atmosphere, such as interviews with famous writers (who are surrounded by the candlesticks), and more.
“I hope to continue this tradition of hand-making techniques and artisanal materials, while providing candles that can be adapted for contemporary every-day life.”
Warosoku Candles Handmade in Omi (Daiyo Co., Ltd.)
2-5-8 Sumiyoshi, Imazucho, Takashima-shi, Shiga
The careful core-making process,
which creates the beautiful burn of the Wasoroku candles.
The warm color of the natural plant material
moderates the climate of the seasons.
A traditional handmade technique passed down from father to son,
using natural hazero wax and the highest quality materials.
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