Welcome to the Magic of


The typical early bush-like explosions of pine-charcoal... The same fire-droplet as on the left. A little bit later, the reaction produces delicate streaky sparks...


What is Senko Hanabi?

Senko Hanabi is an ancient form of Japanese firework. Literally it means 'Incense Firework', derived from the appearance of the traditional device: a long, twisted strand of paper with some pyrotechnic composition intertwined at one side. Although it has been around for many centuries, the very principle that produces the variety of different effects, is still not fully understood. Many pyrotechnicians in the past have become fascinated by the intrinsic mystery that lives inside this 'droplet of fire'.

Why bother?

There is a lot more to this Japanese sparkler than one may percieve at first glance. There is another 'quality' in these sparklers that differentiates them from regular sparklers. First of all, although care is taken in the manufacturing process to guarantee proper functioning, senko hanabi sparklers are not as 'standard'. This means every sparkler will live through its own unique pattern of sparks. Every senko hanabi you light may be the most beautiful one you have ever seen, unlike the predictable 'regular' sparklers. The pyrotechnic composition itself is composed of a very limited number of constituents. However, the source, purity and processing of these elements determine if the mixture will just burn up like a fuse, or begin its metamorfosis into a sizzling ball of branching sparks. This is where science and craftsmanship melt into art, the very principle of the magic of pyrotechnics.

Why this site?

Fascinating as it may be, there are not many sources of information available for the interested individual. Some pyrotechnic masters like Takeo Shimizu have dedicated chapters of their works to Senko Hanabi, but for the most part they describe the art and practice of larger display fireworks. So these elaborate and expensive bibles stay out of reach for the aspiring Senko Hanabi artist.

This website will try to increase the theoretical and practical knowledge concerning Senko Hanabi and make it available to every responsible individual. May it grow to be a place where people can exchange knowledge and experience, so that everyone can bring some moments of magic and joy into this world.