The Garden Guide

Book: Landscape Gardening in Japan, 1912
Chapter: Chapter 3. Garden Lanterns

Names for Japanese lantern types

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The following are examples much resembling the "Kasuga Shape":� "Lemon Tree Shape" (Yu-no-ki-gata),�somewhat ruder and simpler in style than the above, with no annulet to the shaft, and with a cap of flat mushroom-shape instead of the double curved form. "Nigatsu-Do Shape,"�named after another ancient temple, and differing from the "Kasuga Shape" in having the cylindrical standard hollowed out from its central annulet in two flat concavities. The carving is also simpler in character. "Shirataku Shape,"�named after a class of Shinto officials, and distinguishable from the "Kasuga Shape" only in the details of its mouldings and carved enrichments. The subjects represented on the faces of its six-sided fire-box are the sun, the moon, a pine tree, a plum tree, and clouds, supposed in combination to convey some poetical suggestion. It has a circular carved base resting on a rough natural stone. "Uzumasa Shape,"�named after the locality of a famous temple called Koriuji at Saga in the province of Yamashiro, and peculiar for its pyramidal roof of square plan, covering an octagonal head supported upon a cylindrical pillar. It has a broad circular base and no carving. This must not be confounded with the "Uzumasa Owl Shape" which is similar to the "Nigatsu-Do Shape" with the exception that it bears the carving of an owl on one of its faces, in historical reference to a romantic spot in Shinano where Fujiwara-no-Nagashige nightly listened to the cry of an owl. Belonging to the Standard Lantern class, but of somewhat different forms from the above, are the following: � "Shrine Shape" (Miya-gata),�which has an oblong standard with moulded base and neck, supporting a square head covered by a projecting pyramidal roof and resembling the outline of a primitive Japanese temple. The similarity is further assisted by hollowing out and cutting away two of the square sides of the head, so as to leave only a slender stone pillar at one corner, two faces remaining solid and having their surfaces carved. Examples may frequently be seen in which the square fire-box is of wood, the supporting pillar, and even the superincumbent roof, being of stone. "Enshiu Shape,"�named after the famous philosopher Enshiu, who is supposed to have invented it. It is somewhat like the ordinary "Kasuga Shape," except in its peculiar proportions. The cylindrical standard is short, and the head and roof are abnormally elongated, giving the top somewhat the appearance of a high Welsh cap, and to the Japanese suggestive of the long cranium of Fukurokujiu one of the Gods of Fortune. There are two forms of this Lantern slightly different in shape and style of finish. "Rikiu Shape,"�invented by Sen-no-Rikiu, has a slightly hollowed standard carrying a drum-like head crowned with a wide mushroom-shaped roof. "Showo Shape,"�named after another Chajin, has a globular fire-box with a flat saucer-shaped cap, and is supported on a high trumpet-like standard, broader above than below. The "Soeki Shape" and "Sowa Shape," are rude imitations of the "Kasuga Shape" and "Shrine Shape, and bear the names of their inventors. The "Lucky Shape" (Uraku-gata),�has a globular head with a mushroom-like covering, and a short cylindrical standard. It is very rude and simple in form. "Oribe Shape" is named after the philosopher Furuta Oribe, and used to decorate his tomb. It has a square fire-box in the form of a temple and similar to the "Shrine Shape," supported upon an oblong standard with no base, the lower part of the shaft having its corners hollowed out in two deep chamfers. On one face of the standard a representation of a Buddhist saint is carved. "Planet Shape," (Shuko-gata),�a somewhat simplified form of the above, the wider portion of the chamfered standard forming itself the head of the Lantern, and being hollowed out at one corner in an oblong opening. It is crowned by a flat mushroom-shaped roof and a ball. "Mile-post Shape" (Michi-shirabe-gata),�consists simply of an oblong stone pillar with a cap of very slight projection ending in a flattened pyramid. The shape is copied from the ordinary wooden bridge-newel or gate-post, covered with a metal cap. It has an oblong lamp hole on one side, just below the head, and an inscription is carved on one of the other faces. "Daibutsu Shape,"�named after the temple of Daibutsu, in Kioto. It has a square fire-box with projecting roof of flat slope, and is supported upon a very high oblong stone standard with no base. It resembles more a lamp-post than an ordinary Lantern. "Dragon Shape" (Rioto-gata),�has a globular fire-box with ogee roof and moulded necking, supported upon an attenuated stone pillar of wavy shape and great length, which is supposed to resemble the body of a dragon. It is generally placed beside a high tree. "Valley Lantern" (Rankei-gata),�of peculiar shape, attributed to the invention of the artist Taishin. It has an hexagonal or octagonal head covered with a curved roof of the ordinary "Kasuga" form, carried upon a slender arched stone strut, dowelled at the bottom into a flat boulder from which it springs. This form has a quaint and unstable appearance, and is not often used, but when introduced in gardening it is placed on the border of a lake, so as to project over the water, with the crooked branch of a low pine tree trained over it.