Local Scratches


Japanese Candles in Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture

"I was one of those busy Tokyo-people. Than came the Tsunami."


Kawagoe-shi is a little town in the outer circle of Tokyo. Its known for the old warehouse street from the former Edo period. The workshop of Haze is located an the end of the street in a traditional Japanese house. Workshop and shop is just one room and when you enter, you can see him working and smell the warm wax from the candles.

Haze Rosoku is an autodidact. I was one of those busy Tokyo people, every day in a suit and occupied with making money. Layer by layer he adds 100% sumac wax to let the candle grow. The Japanese candle is different to western candles, when they burn they don’t produce wax. It is a special nut plant from which the wick is made. The Tsunami in 2011 changed him. Now the life is less exciting, but more balanced. In Haze’s eyes, fire is a symbol for life and the power of human kind to control nature. We should be more aware of how we treat nature.

Why do you make candles?

I want to retain the knowledge about that candle. A lot of Japanese people don’t even know any more that this candle exist, so I want to remind the people with that tradition, that there is more than working for money in life. It is poor life, I believe.

Does it work?

Slowly. At least it is better than doing nothing.

But it is actually to my task to tell them how they should live their lives. If they are happy in the busy Tokyo working life, than its good for them, but not everybody is happy.

While we were talking he was creating a new shape and color for the christmas candles. His shop is full of colors and patterns he tried out. His inspirations he gets from the quotes and little stories he reads in books or customers tells him. Stories about the time today.

What are your own favorite candles?

The original one. Without any design, just the normal shape and color from the material. But the customer like the designs, so I do it.

I want to know, what he thinks, while he is making over and over the same move to produce the candle. It’s like meditation, I try to think nothing. Creating something with my hands adds value to my life. Value I haven’t had before, now I keep the knowledge of a tradition alive, I’m the only one in this area who makes Japanese candles.


Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture


Haze Rosoku (HAZE CANDLES)