Japanese Stone Lantern Miyoshi Gata
Japanese stone lantern, in Japanese Toro, or Tourou. The earliest were introduced to Japan from China through Korea along with Buddhism. Stone lanterns, or Ishidourou, were used first as votive lights at temples and shrines. Later they were used to light the ground of these religious precincts. Secular use began in the 16c. when stone lanterns were used by tea masters for gardens surrounding their tea huts.
Almost all Japanese stone lanterns are divided into separate parts. From bottom to top, the base: Kiso, the pilar: Sao, firebox base: Chudai, the firebox: Hibukuro, the roof: Kasa and the jewel: Houju.
Miyoshi lanterns are Ikekomi Gata, or buried lanterns. Their base is buried in the ground. They look stunning when placed at an entry gate or along a garden path. The name of the originator, Miyoshi is carved in the face of these Granite Miyoshi Lanterns. The lantern has two window openings, one in front and one in back. Small moon shaped windows often grace the other two sides.
• Origin: Nara
• Material: Kurama stone
• Age: Edo Period
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