A white silk fukusa featuring images of paraphernalia utlized for an incense-burning Buddhist rite. Painted with embroidery couching highlights. Very good condition. 19” x 20”. In Buddhism incense, as a burnt offering, symbolizes the pious desires of the faithful. It also symbolizes other things, as the following excerpt from Buddhist prayer attests "Let my body remain pure like a censer! Let my thought be ever as a fire of wisdom, purely consuming the incense so may I do homage to all the Buddhas in the Ten Directions of the Past, the Present, and the Future." Although the original signification of incense in Buddhist ceremonies was chiefly symbolical, there is good reason to suppose that various beliefs older than Buddhism, some, perhaps, peculiar to the race; others probably of Chinese or Korean derivation, began at an early period to influence the popular use of incense in Japan. Incense is still being burned in the presence of a corpse with the idea that its fragrance shields both corpse and newly-parted soul from malevolent demons; and by some, it is often to drive away goblins and the evil powers presiding over diseases. But formerly it was used to summon spirits as well as to banish them.