Baba Water Mill | Incense Stick

Baba Water Mill | Incense Stick main image


Ethical society through natural incense

Baba Water Mill

  • 1918
  • Incense Stick
  • Takeru Baba
Baba Water Mill | Incense Stick history image


A spirit of fully appreciating nature's bounty.

Yame City in Fukuoka Prefecture is a major producer of cedar, surrounded by the clear waters of the Yabe River and majestic mountains.

During the Edo period (1603-1868), the Kurume and Yanagawa clans set up a "mountain magistrate" in Yame to encourage the planting of pine and cedar trees.

The cedar of Yame became popular because of its straight grain and robustness.

At the same time, many cedar leaves were being discarded unnecessary as building materials.

In order to make full use of them, they decided to make incense by crushing the cedar leaves with the power of a water mill.

From the 1910s to around 1975, incense production was at its peak, with more than 40 watermills in operation.

Since then, however, traditional incense making using water wheels has become less common due to the rise of cheap imports, energy conversion, lack of successors, and difficulty in maintenance.

21 volunteers invested in each other in 1918 to establish well weirs, waterways, and a water mill.

In 1961, Tsuguo Baba bought the entire site and renamed it“Baba Water Mill”.

Today, I am the second generation to take over the water mill, and we continue to make incense sticks together as a couple.

Baba Water Mill | Incense Stick feature image


Incense that is friendly to both people and the environment

The cedar incense sticks we make are 100% natural, made from cedar leaves collected and natural glued together in Yame City.

We collect good quality cedar leaves from the mountains, which are harvested by hand in the traditional way.

There are about 30 different types of cedar leaves, each with different characteristics, so we try to make the best use of them.

The only energy used to grind the leaves is the power of the waterwheel, which is environmentally friendly.

In the past, we just packed the incense powder in bags and shipped it out, but we wanted to develop our own original products to make incense without chemicals such as fragrances and coloring agents.

Currently, the "Association to Support Baba Water Mill" has been established, and the water mill itself is increasingly recognized as an asset to be passed on to the future.

Baba Water Mill | Incense Stick Image used

For Customers

Let's be particular about materials. It's what we use around us

We at Baba Water Mill have been making cedar incense sticks for over 100 years, using only natural cedar materials and the power of our water mill.

Our incense sticks are made of high-grade, luxurious raw materials, yet they have a simple, nostalgic fragrance.

The incense sticks are brown in color, but depending on the color of the cedar powder, the color may be black in summer or bluish in winter.

When the incense sticks are lit, a thin stream of smoke goes upward, gently calming the mind.

These incense sticks can be used not only for memorial services at tombs and Buddhist altars, but also for daily use as insect repellents and incense to enjoy the fragrance.

Because it is something that you use close at hand, please relax your body and mind with incense that is completely natural and contains no chemicals.

It is also safe for families with small children.

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