Originally, the lanterns were brought to Japan by Buddhism, during the 6th century and they have a double role: to provide light and to be symbolic offerings to Buddha, because the light symbolizes the Buddhist teachings.
That’s why in Japan there was a custom to offer big lanterns to temples, like the ones you can see in my photo. These are some of the most beautiful lanterns I have seen, donated to the Rinno-ji Taiyuin Mausoleum by rich and powerful lords. Displayed at the Yashamon Gate, there are 33 lantern pairs, with the same size and with simmilar design, made of copper with golden details…
Click on photo for higher resolution:
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: