Japanese Stone Lantern Mizubotaru Gata
Japanese stone lantern, Toro, or Tourou in Japanese. 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 grounds 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.
Mizubotaru toro, also known as Mizu Hotaru, this is the water firefly lantern . The glow of fireflies reflecting in the garden waters at night inspired this lantern. It is usually placed next to the water on the opposite side to provide the firefly reflections to the viewer.The name may have originated from the famous Japanese novel, The Tale of Genji by Lady Murasaki. Another story claims Prince Yakahito saw the reflection in the waters of Katsura Rikyu and mistakenly thought it was a group of fireflies over the water. It is another Ikekomi type lantern, its round base planted in the ground. The lightbox is square with square openings on the sides and double triangle windows on the front and back. It is covered with an unusually shaped roof.
• Origin: Nagoya
• Material: Shirakawa stone
• Age: Edo-Meiji Period
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