Stone lanterns belong to the Japanese
Buddhist Culture. They got popular in the Kamakura era. There are six
parts of a stone lantern. Base that can be round, square or hexagonal.
They have a lotus petal pattern.
1. Post is round with 4, 6, 8 angles, does not have any design or
pattern. It carries the date and the name of the maker. They may be
ornamented with bands
2. Middle stand is ornamented with upward facing lotus petals. The
sides are divided into panels and have patterns of bamboo, peony
flowers and other ancient motifs.
3. Light box is hollow on the inside and is covered by the top. It
has openings to view light
4. Top or the umbrella is made of wood. They are carved as a rising
line or a wave.
5. Jewel rests on the top.
Pagora Lanterns are similar but tiered. It is also called stupa and
is considered a memorial of Buddha. Stone lanterns are considered
important for tea ceremonies. Contemporary lanterns have electrical
lighting. They may be straight, column like or have a carved base.
Granite is the most preferred stone for lanterns. Other stone are now
being used to give different effects and create newer patterns,
marble, limestone, soapstone and slate have been successfully