Mosquitoes bugging you? 蚊取り線香


In my July 16 column in The Japan Times, I wrote about mosquito coils, which were actually invented in Japan, and promised to show you some of the holders used when burning them. I couldn’t resist the photo above, not just because the guy looks like such a character but also because it’s a great example of someone using a portable mosquito coil burner –the round get-up hanging from his belt. That’s a 携帯用 (keitaiyō, portable) or 吊り下げ (tsurisage, hanging) type holder.

For some reason I can’t quite suss out, holders in the shape of pigs are perennial favorites.


I prefer ones that are little more stylish, like these iron holders:



These glass ones have a refreshing look:



Mosquito coils are called 蚊取り線香 katori senkō in Japan and are widely available in supermarkets, drug stores, garden centers and even convenience stores.

Amazon Japan carries a good selection too, including the classic set of 30 coils in a can that doubles as a burner, as well as the same packaging with a new low-smoke black coil alternative, and even a special version for pets, complete with burning dish. Amazon offers holders too, including the classic pig-face holder a crazed cat and one in glass.

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2 Responses to Mosquitoes bugging you? 蚊取り線香

  1. Andrea Shea says:

    Dear Alice,
    just how effective are they? Living in Germany, we’ve got plenty of mosquitoes, but I’ve never seen incense coils… Before I went to the Trouble to find them here…. The popular Thing in Germany is to burn Special candles, which as far as I can tell, don’t impress the mosquitoes one bit!
    Thanks for another interesting column,

  2. Sayie says:

    Hi can you please also give the names of the shop selling these ceramic pig mosquito coil holders as well as the glass type. Thanks

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