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Information on Stone Japanese Lanterns

view:author:Magic Stoneupdate:2012/11/23

Information on Japanese Lanterns

By Dana Griffin

Dana Griffin has written for a number of guides, trade and travel periodicals since 1999. She has also been published in "The Branson Insider" newspaper. Griffin is a CPR/first-aid instructor trainer for the American Red Cross, owns a business and continues to write for publications. She received a Bachelor of Arts in English composition from Vanguard University.

Japanese garden lanterns add light and serenity to a garden path.

Crafted especially for garden use, stone lanterns were regarded by Japanese gardeners as an intrinsic part of the garden art form. Strategically placed for the enjoyment of garden visitors, Japanese lanterns evolved from light sources in ancient times to symbols that define tradition and culture in modern Japanese garden design

History

Originally, Japanese tea masters lit stone lanterns along temple pathways during evening tea ceremonies. Ishi toros illuminated Buddhist temple and Shinto shrine paths. From 1573 to 1615, during the Momoyama period, more decorative sculptural designs were adapted to tea garden (roji) use.

Material

Authentic lanterns, carved from granite or syenite---a coarse gray stone---are simple in design. The material withstands seasonal elements and the simplicity withstands societal changes. Modern gardeners use lanterns crafted from resins, reconstituted stone or concrete, which weigh less and are easier to ship. Some mass-produced resin or concrete lanterns are red or green with ornate styling, but authentic Japanese lanterns are the color of natural stone and more simply designed to blend into the garden.