Kogos are incense boxes used to contain the valuable incense, which burned during the tea ceremony as a form of purification. Developed from earlier exquisite boxes made of silver, lacquer or porcelain that originated in China, incense boxes became popular with the aristocrats of the 12th and 13th centuries. By the 15th century the burning of incense, a custom associated with Buddhism that found its way to Japan from India, became a common function of the Japanese tea ceremony.

The Kogos shown in this Learning Object are just a few from a collection of over 3,000 originally amassed by George Clemenceau (1841-1929), the famous French statesman. Collected around 1890 in Meiji Japan, the collection is now housed in the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
Vancouver Museum, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts,

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