Stone Lanterns or "Ishi-Doro" History
Lanterns were originally introduced into Japan from China. The first ones were made of metal and primarily used to light doorways of shrines and temples.
They were later made of stone for use in Japanese gardens, but it wasn't until they were
introduced into Japanese tea gardens by tea-master Sen-no-Rikkyu that they
really became a major garden element.
Japanese tea ceremonies were often held in the evenings when light was needed to guide
guests to the tea room.
Stone lanterns can be classified into four basic categories:
Today, stone lanterns are primarily used for garden enhancements and for visual delight.
- tachi-gata (pedestal lanterns)
- ikekomi-gata (buried lanterns)
- oki-gata (small, set lanterns) and
- yukimi-gata (snow-viewing lanterns).
See our different Stone Lantern categories:
Tsukubai (Water Basins)
Yukimi-gata Lanterns (Snow-viewing Lanterns)
Tachi-gata Lanterns (Pedestal Lanterns)
Ikekomi-gata Lanterns (Buried Lanterns)
Oki-gata Lanterns (small, set lanterns)