NARA Sumi (Inksticks)

Nara ink was created in the city of Nara, Nara Prefecture. It is thought to have originated in the village of Asuka. Even after the capital of Japan shifted from Nara to Kyoto, because Nara has so many temples and shrines, ink producers pooled in the area to create ink required for copying sutras and scholarly endeavors. Lamp soot ink created from soot of the eternal flame at Kofuku-ji Temple became known as high-quality Nara ink, and the product has developed a long tradition to this day.