"Math Salt": Modern Bath Salts in a Traditional Package

2016.09.24

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An ancient box of tranquility for modern lifestyles

Part of Japanese culture for over a millennium, masu are small wooden boxes traditionally used for measuring rice (although in modern Japan, they are more often used as sake cups!). Playing on the rhyme of masu with "bath" as pronounced in Japanese, Masu Kobo Masuya have come up with a range of "Math Salts": herbal bath salts carefully chosen for fragrant compatibility with the richly scented natural cypress wood of the masu they are packaged in.

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Ancient craftsmanship takes root in Gifu prefecture

Based in Ogaki, Gifu, Masuya's share of the Japanese masu market is over 80%. Masu themselves are believed to have been in use for over 1,300 years, but the introduction of the industry to Gifu Prefecture was more recent. Its roots are said to lie in single masu artisan's settling in Ogaki during the Meiji period (1868-1912 CE)—possibly attracted by its proximity to Kiso, Tono, and other well-known sources of prized Japanese cypress, known as hinoki.

Hinoki has long been praised in Japan for its refined and relaxing fragrance. These bath salts go into the bath masu and all, for the full hinoki experience!

Next page: "A soothing perfume and a special message"