An illumination device made of stone. It was originally brought to Japan with Buddhism, as a votive lamp placed before a Buddha hall in the Asuka period, and from the Heian period has been used at both Shinto shrines as well as Buddhist temples. Apart from its use in Jōdo gardens from the Heian period, its adoption into the Japanese garden dates from the development of the tea garden style in the Momoyama era and from the Edo period on it has been an essential garden facility. In terms of the horizontal outline of either the lamp housing or the roof, the octagonal type appeared in the Nara period, the hexagonal one from the late Heian to the Kamakura period, the square type in the mid-Kamakura period, and triangular, round, and irregular shapes appeared at the beginning of the Edo period. Lanterns divide into a variety of types in terms of their overall shape.
Japanese Garden Dictionary: A Glossary for Japanese Gardens and Their History
(C) 2010 by Ono Kenkichi and Walter Edwards. All rights reserved.