Hibi - beautiful leap of tools that have been used for a long time

~ A new way of enjoying incense, born from the encounter of two traditional industries of the Hyogo Prefecture ~

Kobe Match Co., Ltd. with a long history of match manufacturing based in Harima of the Hyogo Prefecture and Daihatsu Co., Ltd., a long-established company which continuously manufactures innovative products in Awaji Island, a major manufacturing center of incense, met, developed products for a period of about 3 years and commercialized the brand in April 2015. Its unique concept of “lighting incense as if striking matches” is supported by a high degree of technical know-how ensuring both the solidness, preventing the sticks from breaking when striking, and the burnability.

The name “hibi” means “day to day” in Japanese. We named it, hoping that the product will be kept by one’s side and enjoyed freely every day according to one’s mood and occasion. The product logo is formed by doubling a Chinese ideogram signifying “day,” expressing a basic product concept that is stylish and simple without flamboyance. We aim to make the “hibi” brand a synonym for incense and widely accepted by consumers in Japan and overseas.


GOOD DESIGN AWARD 2019 Special Award


The original incense "hibi" series, which does not require an ignition tool, has been developed since 2015 by Kobe Match Co., Ltd. Received the Special Design Award / Good Focus Award [Technology / Traditional Design] (Small and Medium Enterprise Agency Director Award) This award is given to a particularly excellent design product, backed by advanced technology and skills, from Good Design Award winners selected by the Japan Design Promotion Organization in 2019. The pioneering idea of a long-established company and rich experience were used as the strength, and the leaders of the traditional industry teamed up and realized the “beautiful leap of tools that have been used for a long time”.

How do you preserve the history and culture of traditional industries for the next generation? The answer to such question is beautifully exhibited in this project in which the long- established match manufacturer comes up with an innovative idea to make full use of the extensive experience and craftsmanship. The developer's attempt at bringing a breath of fresh air into the area by reconfiguring the value of the traditional industry is wonderful. The fact that it achieves a beautiful leap forward for the long-cherished tool and proposes a new way of enjoying incense was highly appraised as well. The collaboration with the incense company in the same prefecture suggests the importance and potential for team building among businesses sharing the same aspiration as traditional manufacturers.

Toward the day when hibi becomes a synonym of incense.

“hibi 10MINUTES AROMA”, the world's first incense with an ignition function, was released after a three-and-a-half-year joint development period with an incense stick manufacturer “Daihatsu Co., Ltd.,” in Awaji Island, used in more than thirty countries do far. I would like to thank all the people who supported the path to this prestigious award, continue to be a courage to traditional industries throughout Japan, and make hibi a synonym for incense. We will continue to move forward with the mission of the brand as the core of our business.

- Masafumi Sagayama, brand manager,hibi 


Good Design Award winners

The “Good Design Award” is the only comprehensive design evaluation and recommendation movement sponsored by the Japan Design Promotion Organization (JDP). In 2019, out of a total of 4,772 entries, 1,420 recognized for superior design received the Good Design Award. In addition, 100 particularly outstanding ones were narrowed down to “Good Design Best 100”, and from that 100, the Good Design Grand Prize and Gold Award, and the Good Focus Award, 4 categories (New Business Design / Design of Technique & Tradition / Design of Community Development / Disaster Prevention & Recovery Design) was selected and announced on October 31, 2019.