About Japanese Garden Lanterns
When you want to see your patio in a new light, consider Japanese garden lanterns. Following tradition, these lanterns come in stone, metal, and wood. Some hang from poles, while others rest firmly on the ground. Although they are small, these lanterns play a large role in Japanese history. Since the days of feudal Japan, they have resided in religious establishments, including Buddhist temples, where they serve the practical purpose of illuminating paths and walkways so that monks can walk safely at dawn and dusk. Spiritually, they symbolize peace and purity, protecting against intruding, evil spirits. Of the varieties, Japanese stone lanterns classify as the oldest. Hailing from Nara, Japan, they mark the transition of Japanese garden lanterns from public to private spheres, initially appearing as ornamental decorations in gardens of wealthy tea masters. Today, various rocks and brass materials make up most lanterns. Regardless of material, lanterns contain the same basic features with symbolic significance. The legs of ground lanterns, or the handles of hanging lanterns touching poles, represent the earth. Bases, which secure legs or handles, represent water. Lights or flames, which ignite with matches, demonstrate fire. Lastly, rounded domes topping the lanterns represent air and spirits. There is a vast inventory of antique Japanese lanterns on eBay, so you can let the light guide you.