Introduction To Japanese Garden Lanterns


Ishidoro or also known as Japanese lanterns were first introduced to Japan around the 6th century from China and Korea during the Asuka Period. They were used as small votive holders at different shrines and temples. It was centuries later when they began being used for more practical applications like lighting the grounds surrounding those shrines and temples. The first use of these Japanese stone lanterns was designed to hold a sacred flame that represented Buddha. It was back in the 16th century when these Japanese garden lanterns became popular with the community and found their place in private homes and gardens. When talking about Buddha, in many texts the burning lamp placed in front of religious temples would symbolize Buddha’s teachings.

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History Of Japanese Garden Lanterns

During the Asuka Period which was the start of Buddhism, many Koreans went to the dangerous trip across the sea from Korea to Japan in order to live there. At the same time, Korea was ruled by China, so Chinese people brought over their new techniques and knowledge of China’s art, culture, and religion. The Japanese were extremely pleased with these new ideas so they commissioned the building of the first temple in Japan: the Asuka Temple.

It was in the 16th century at the traditional tea ceremony where various tea masters started to design stone lanterns intended to use in gardens, and this was the time when Japanese garden lanterns turned into a classic feature.

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Where To Buy Japanese Lanterns?

When it comes to buying Japanese lanterns, you have a number of choices to choose from. However, the best and most affordable one is online shopping since you can find different types and sizes of Japanese lanterns. When it comes to buying online, one thing is certain, you need to find a reliable online store that can offer you high-quality lanterns at affordable prices. When talking about online shopping, the best thing is that you can find superior quality lanterns for sale, on promotion and discounted. Many online retailers have weekly and monthly sales and promotions so you could easily buy more than one lanterns for sale for the price of one, and adorn your garden.

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Styles Of Japanese Garden Lanterns

Japanese stone lanterns are usually made of granite and they can be classified into three basic categories.

  • The oldest style lantern is called the Taima-ji and is named after one Japnese temple that has the oldest existing stone lantern: 1300 years old! These lantern styles stand over 2 metres tall and are usually made of 6 different parts:

- the pedestal

- the shaft

- the middle platform

- the light box

- the roof, and have an additional jewelled finial.

  • The Korean traditional temple light is the second lantern style is which design combines the jewelled top with the roof. It has an oversized middle platform and compartment for the light, and a shorter shaft which in fact is the reason of its squat appearance.
  • The third lantern style is the most appealing and creative. These lanterns were developed specifically for gardeners and they are available in different shapes and patterns. The most popular types of these lanterns are the Yukimi (snow viewing), and the Oribe lanterns that don’t have a pedestal.

Goran Nikolov is a content writer of Protista, a website where you can find a lot of interesting lists. He is from Macedonia and has a passion to write lists about everything that surrounds him, especially about sports, health, music, technology and history. Goran loves to play basketball in his free time, enjoys playing on his guitar and sharing his thoughts with others.