Sandalwood L

Large Buddhist prayer bead bracelet carved from fragrant sandalwood: a core ingredient in traditional Japanese incense. From the historic Kyoto incense shop Yamada-Matsu, these solid heartwood beads have a subtle sweet aroma to aid prayer and meditation.
Product Nenju prayer bead bracelet
Size L: 20cm
Brand Yamada-Matsu
Origin Kyoto, Japan
Material Sandalwood
Weight 7g

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A family business with a distinguished 200 year history, Yamada-Matsu began as a pharmacy in the Edo period (1603-1868) initially supplying raw incense materials to local Buddhist temples before developing their own original recipes – which are still used to manufacture their highly acclaimed natural incenses today. Their traditional incenses are made of some of the finest varieties of agarwood and sandalwood, as well as medicinal herbs and extracts. Located in Kyoto, the birthplace of Japanese incense culture, Yamada-Matsu strives to carry on this tradition that dates back to the Heian period (794-1185) and disseminate it to the wider world.

Byakudan 白檀

White or Indian Sandalwood, known in Japanese as byakudan, has been treasured for centuries around the world for its soothing fragrance. Sandalwood, together with agarwood, form the basis of traditional Japanese incense. The evergreen tree is native across southeast Asia, particularly in India, and is used in Ayuverdic as well as Chinese medicine to treat a variety of ailments. Incense is made using the aromatic heartwood, which can take more than 60 years to cultivate. The dense, durable core is impervious to insects, hence it is regarded as a protective tree whose scent can drive away evil spirits, and so was used in the building of temples and religious statues from India to Japan, besides being an effective mosquito repellant. Sandalwood from Mysore in the South of India is particularly prized for its aroma and in Japanese is referred to as rōzan (老山 “old mountain”) sandalwood.

Nenju 念珠

Buddhist prayer beads from India were introduced to Japan via China as far back as the 6th century. In Japanese Buddhism these beads are known as nenju (“thought beads”) or juzu (“counting beads”) and are used in the same way as a rosary or mala to count prayers or mantras. Nenju are also considered protective charms to ward off evil spirits and are frequently given as gifts to celebrate major life events, such as birth, marriage and coming-of-age.


Please avoid getting the bracelet wet. The sandalwood scent will gradually fade as a deep, lustrous patina develops.

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