Our simple, subtle, beautiful Japanese lantern collection includes Japanese design table lamps, floor lamps & hanging lamps.
Paper lanterns have a long history behind their existence, despite the many models of paper lanterns we can see today, paper lanterns actually have a Chinese origin and the first paper lantern ever created dates back to 230 BC, China.
Made from thin coloured paper, a bamboo frame and a candle inside, the main purpose of the paper lantern was to protect the Chinese people from evil. They represent celebration, joy, eternity and happiness.
There is a myth that says there was a great Chinese emperor who had a special dream and he ordered Hindu scriptures to be brought to him.
Then he built a special temple for these Hindu scriptures, which he had decorated with thousands of paper lanterns to symbolise the power of Buddha.
And so began the history of paper lanterns in China. Today, they are a must at Chinese festivals, especially during the Lantern Festival when people bring paper lanterns to celebrate the first full moon of the year.
But how did paper lanterns come into Japanese culture?
It's all down to a Korean Buddhist monk who introduced the idea of using paper lanterns from China as a symbol of honour to Buddha.
So let's look at how and why the Japanese began using lanterns as part of their culture:
- Stone lanterns: These were used for religious purposes, especially to honour the great Buddha. These lanterns were called "Ishidoro" and served as lighting decoration of Japanese temples. Today, Japanese stone lanterns are mostly used as garden decorations. So if you want to add an East Asian spirit to your garden, you can choose from our wide selection of stone lanterns.
- Paper lanterns: An incredibly interesting use of paper lanterns in Japan was to advertise the most popular national dishes or to announce free rooms. For example, the names of famous Japanese national dishes were written on the coloured paper of the lantern. This increased the popularity of lanterns in this Asian country.