The Way of Aroma: The Incense Culture of China (by Elena Voytishek)

Title: The Way of Aroma: The Incense Culture of China
Author: Elena Voytishek
Published by: Moscow Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Science, 2023

Incense culture has long played an important symbolic and sociocultural role in East Asian countries, reflecting general trends of cultural development throughout different historical periods. Originating in antiquity on the territory of China, to date, it represents the most complex set of historical and cultural phenomena among countries of the East Asian region (China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan). It covers religious and magical rituals, sanitary and hygiene, traditional medicine, a set of spiritual and healing practices and rituals of Taoist-Buddhist, Shinto-Buddhist and Confucian character. It is fair to consider a number of aspects of incense culture through the analysis and interpretation of archaeological sites and artifacts, written sources, game traditions, as well as products of decorative and applied art, which allows us to speak not only about incense culture, but also about the art of incense.

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