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Japanese Stone Lantern Nozura 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.
The Nozura Japanese stone lanterns, Nozura-doro or ghost lanterns are rustic in design, being made from natural unpolished boulders and rocks, often slightly cartoon-like in their appearance. Originally, suitable shaped stones were piled on top of each other to form a lantern shape. In some cases the granite or stone is rustically hand finished to precise sizes to achieve balanced appearance and proportions. The lanterns blend easily into natural landscapes and hillsides.
• Origin: Nara, Kyoto
• Material: Lava stone
• Age: Meiji Period
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