HIBI Back Story:
‘Craftsmanship to pass down on the roots of traditional match production to the next generation’
The reminiscence of a Harima match manufacturer - 86 years after its foundation.
Match manufacturing technology was introduced from Europe to Japan at the beginning of the Meiji era (1868 -1912). Before long, the match manufacturing industry grew and matches made in Japan became an export item because of their high quality. Especially the area stretching from Kobe to Himeji in Hyogo Prefecture prospered as a cluster of match manufacturers, advantage of the geographical proximity of Kobe Port, which made it easier for them to do business with foreign trading partners.
It was in Himeji with these distinct characteristics that the Kobe Match Corporation was founded in 1929. Still now, match production is its local industry, and it is said to have a 75% share of Japan’s total match production. Unfortunately, lighting a match, once a common scene in daily life, has gradually disappeared.
‘Matches don’t need to play a leading role. However, we would like to pass on the roots and tradition of our matches.’ With this thought in mind, since a several years ago we have made efforts to establish closer contacts with users through collaborative efforts such as the production of facsimile edition retro-matches and specially designed T-shirts.
‘Connecting Japan and the World through the spirit of the enjoyment of Fragrance’
Founded in 1936. The Innovation of an incense manufacturer in Awaji Island.
Walking through the town, you will notice the scent of fragrant wood drifting softly.
Awaji Island is said to account for the production of as much as 70% of domestic incense and incense sticks. The techniques of incense production were brought from Sakai City in the Senshu area in 1850 at the end of the Edo period. It became firmly rooted here as Awaji Island is well-suited for the production of incense because of its “west wind”, a special feature of the area which is ideal for drying incense.
Daihatsu Corporation has an 80 year history of incense production. It is a venerable company that was first established in Sakai, and later relocated its production base to Awaji Island. Since its foundation, it has been manufacturing innovative products, such as incense with an aroma prepared by a French perfume manufacturer. The oriental culture of ‘Burning Incense’ attracted attention throughout Europe. The company has played a positive role in in introducing incense culture by exhibiting their products at overseas trade fairs. “Connecting Japan and the World through the spirit of the enjoyment of Fragrance”—This has been our unchanging hope from the time of our company’s founding.
It all started with the encounter of two traditional industries,
‘Designing a way to enjoy fragrance‘
The incense of Awaji Island and the matches of Harima: These two traditional industries of Hyogo Prefecture first encountered each other in 2011. The collaboration started with the idea of an incense that could be lit like striking a match and was followed by 3 years of trial and error., An aromatic product with properties of strength and fragrance was developed, which did not break even when struck like a match.
Selecting fragrance suitable to the brand of the world view
The selection of a fragrance fitting for the brand’s worldview
The names of products and packaging were developed to convey the sensibility of today’s Japan. All those things were ‘designs’ to create a new way of enjoying fragrance.
To enrich your life through this collaboration of the culture of Japanese craftsmanship,
to make hibi synonymous with incense, familiar at home and abroad,
And to also give pride and a dream to those people involved in traditional industry:
This is our wish/hope.