Toro & Rising Moon, c. 1910.



1910sAmusements & RecreationsArchitectureReligious
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Tōrō and rising moon, embossed postcard, c. 1910.

Tōrō and rising moon, embossed postcard, c. 1910.

“The moon of the springtime loses her brightest beams among the blossoms of the flowers; in the summertime the water reflects her image in purer tints than her own light; in the winter the north wind robs her rays of much of their lustre; but in the autumn all nature is her friend, and rejoices to see her at her best.”

The Star Lovers, Baron Takahira Kogoro, 1901

From the wiki: “In Japan, tōrō is a traditional lantern made of stone, wood, or metal. Like many other elements of Japanese traditional architecture, it originated in China; however, extant specimens in that country are very rare. In Japan, tōrō were originally used only in Buddhist temples, where they lined and illuminated paths. Lit lanterns were then considered an offering to Buddha.

“During the Heian period (794-1185), however, tōrō started being used also in Shinto shrines and private homes. Onward from the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1568–1600) stone lanterns were popularized by tea masters, who used them as a decoration in their gardens. Soon tōrō started to develop new types according to the need.

“In modern gardens they have a purely ornamental function and are laid along paths, near water or next to a building.”

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