Lanterns as Japanese Garden Ornaments

The Japanese Garden

Japanese Culture

Lanterns as Japanese Garden Ornaments

For thousands of years, Japanese gardens have defined the culture and tradition of the country. A Japanese garden has always given its citizens and tourists a sense of serenity with its design and art. With the different elements that give meaning to the garden, it then becomes a national treasure of Japan. Different Japanese garden ornaments which can traditionally be found in gardens are water bamboo hammers, water basins, and Japanese lanterns.
These Japanese lanterns are originally made of stone and are placed strategically in the garden to act as guides for visitors. In the early ages, these Japanese lanterns were used by tea masters so that their guests may be aware of the existing pathway which led to the temple. These lanterns are especially useful when the tea ceremonies are held during the evening. Moreover, having a traditional stone lantern as a source of light even creates a magical effect that a Japanese garden may bring out to its guests.

As years went by however, these lanterns have evolved from its functional purpose to a more decorative placement in the Japanese garden. Artistically placed within the garden, together with the other elements that complete it, the Japanese garden still is lit to provide light to its surroundings. However, the light is emits to the garden is not flashy, but rather soft and delicate. With such a subtle effect on the Japanese garden, it then gives out a sense of peace especially when night falls. Having a Japanese lantern in a garden is therefore an important value. It enhances the beauty of the Japanese garden and further provides a tranquil environment for its visitors.

Depending on its position in the garden, the Japanese lantern can act as a focal point. The most common placement of a stone lantern is beside a waterfall or any water source that is incorporated within the Japanese garden. When combined, the soft light of the stone lantern and the gentle flowing of the water make them more mystical elements to watch.

As the Japanese lanterns are made with stones, they consequently give out a natural mood all throughout the garden itself. The natural feature of the stone and its rugged design all the more give it a feeling of a rich and creative history. Not only does stone make is a distinguishable garden ornament, but it also makes the Japanese lantern durable and strong. Just like the ancient Japanese tradition, the stone lantern makes out a form that can withstand years, decades and centuries of both societal and seasonal changes.

There are a lot of Japanese lanterns which you can choose from if you are building your own garden. These lanterns are usually hand crafted and can last several years. A popular Japanese lantern is the Ikeda family garden lantern, which originates from the countryside of Japan. It is one of the earliest types of lanterns in the country, having been introduced in the 6th century, just at the same time as Buddhism was taking place.

Basically there are four basic types of Japanese lanterns available in the market. These are the pedestal lanterns, buried lanterns, small set lanterns and snow viewing lanterns. Each type has a distinctive purpose and having the right one for a garden will definitely give it the best results possible. The presence of a wonderful Japanese lantern in a garden is such an important part in bringing out its simplicity and richness.

About the Author

Jason Boonstra is the author of "The Ultimate Water Garden Manual" - compulsory reading for anyone considering Japanese garden ornaments. This website contains valuable information on how to easily create & maintain your own stunningly beautiful Water Garden with lively & healthy fish

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