Gyokushodo / Jinko Yozei

Gyokushodo (bottom of page) is a rather interesting company, one that seems to have been pretty well hidden until the last year or so. Not all that big (at least what we get to see) but they do turn out some really good incense at very reasonable prices. They  use a good grade of Aloeswood combined with a unique blend of oils and resins to produce some very nice scents. None of them come across as “heavy” or “fill the room” types of incense (what used to be called , I think, “Hundred Pace” style,) just very pleasant and ones that do get your attention. Their incense tends to make you sit up and notice and at the same time not get overwhelmed. In other words, great for meditation or as a background scent to create an atmosphere in a room.

Jinko Yozei, which is the newest of the line to make it over here, pretty much holds true to the above. Good aloeswood, a really nice oil/resin scent floating above the wood and in general just a really pleasant experience. An overall impression of resins mixed with a certain muskiness without florals. I have gone through three sticks at this point from a sample sent to me from Kohshi in San Francisco. One thing that has happened each time i have used it is that at some point into the stick I find myself thinking i have Shunkohdo’s Seikan burning. There are some real similarities here in the oil/resin department (the wood in the Shunkohdo is at a much higher level ). Given the price difference between the two there are most likly huge differences in formula between them also. But still, it keeps happening to me. If anyone else has sampled this i would be very curious as to your impressions.



  1. Jeff said,

    March 20, 2016 at 1:19 am

    I keep coming back to the Jinko Yozei because of the glowing appraisal that you and Mike have for this stick. I want to love it, but I don’t. lol. I find the woodiness too sharp for my nose and it isn’t offset with any sweeter elements that take me by surprise. The agar, compared to the Jinko Yomei, which I consider the more delightful of the two, has no element of pleasure for me. In fact, they are so different in fragrance and direction that the sticks take me in. Perhaps there is something in my own chemistry/memory that is not available to this one.

  2. January 18, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    […] January 18, 2010 at 6:48 pm (Gyokushodo, Incense, Japan) Japan Incense/Kohshi recently brought in two more additions to the Gyokushodo line. Gyokushodo is very well thought of in Japan and is only recently getting the recognition it deserves here. You can refer to the other write ups we have done on the company here, here.and here […]

  3. Ryan said,

    May 19, 2009 at 5:16 am

    Hi guys. I live in Japan. It seems like Gyokushodo is one of the most common incense brands available here next to Baieido and Nippon Kodo. You can find their incenses at many of the religious supply shops around Tokyo. We are rather spoiled over here because most incense is about half the price you pay and there is more variety. With Gyokushodo, in particular, they have long boxes for most of their line. One stick will last about an hour. There is one variety I haven’t seen exported that I really love. It’s called Seicyo Kojurin. The box looks just like Kojurin, but it’s light green instead of black. It’s a very light, sweet, and elegant smell that leaves my whole apartment smelling fresh. It’s also not expensive. One long box is about $10-15. I also have another one, called Suzaku, which is quite amazing. It’s sandalwood based, and that’s about all I can say about it with my limited ability to put scents into words. The box shows a golden-orange sunset over gray colored hills. Recently I was on a trip to Kyoto, and imagine my surprise when I accidentally stumbled upon the Gyokushodo store–Yes, a whole store just filled with Gyokushodo products! They have a website if anyone is interested (although it’s all in Japanese):

    • Mike said,

      May 19, 2009 at 10:04 am

      Hi Ryan, thanks for the info and link. I think what we see in the US is entirely what is feasible to carry and for the incense suppliers here to be able to make a living doing so. Hopefully we’ll get to see more of these other Gyokushodo products at some point, which why I think it’s important that we rally our support around those we do like. In fact I don’t think it was a given that we’d even see a restock of their products here, so we have to credit people like Kotaro and Jay at Japan Incense and Beth at Essence for staying on top of it. If I ever make it to Japan, though, I’m sure I’ll be bringing an empty suitcase or two. 🙂

  4. Mike said,

    May 14, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Ross, your comparison to Shunkohdo Kyara Seikan is extremely intuitive on this one. It’s very close in so many ways despite that it’s also completely different, as if they manage to do a similar thing without needing the kyara. I also thought it was quite a bit woodier than many of the Gyokushodos and had a nice dryness as well as an herbal quality that was tough to place. All in all a brilliant incense, definitely one for our hall of fame. Will be top of my next “buy” list.

  5. Ross said,

    May 13, 2009 at 9:55 am

    It’s Jinko Yozei. I really like it and will be getting a box next month, I think its my fav of the company at this point.

  6. Mike said,

    May 13, 2009 at 9:20 am

    Ross, is this Jinko Yozei or is it actually just Yozei? Looks like a must try for sure.

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