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Japan Early Antique "Okigata" Temple Shrine Lantern, Best in Class, 19th Century For Sale
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Japan Early Antique "Okigata" Temple Shrine Lantern, Best in Class, 19th Century


Found on our last trip to Japan. An Antique Okigata (portable) three piece stone lantern with thick and heavy dark patina from great age. The firebox engraved with fine designs of birds and wildlife. Dimensions: 30 inches tall and 24 inches diameter, three pieces Period: Edo period (1750-1850) Quality: Very fine condition, fine details, carved from solid granite The well proportioned carved stone lantern fashioned in three parts with a finial Hohju, light chamber Hibukuro, and well detailed base stone kiso. A rare one. Provenance: acquired from a 50 year old Shiga antique garden lantern collection Stone lanterns, Ishidoro were introduced to Japan via Korea and China in the 6th century AD. They were used initially in temples and later shrines as votive lights. About the 16th century stone lanterns were adopted for secular purposes and designed and placed in the gardens of tea houses and private residences made famous by tea master Sen Rikkyu (1522-1592). Many of our customers place oil candles inside the main section making a romantic and enjoyable decorative accent for entertaining friends and family. It's a perfect choice for your indoor or outdoor garden space. Lifetime guarantee of authenticity: All of our Asian works of art come with our Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee. Our gallery has been dealing in authentic Japanese , Chinese, and fine Asian art, garden ornaments, lanterns and water basins for 25 years. The president personally travels to China, Japan and Europe each year to meet his network partners who assist him in finding best examples. He personally inspects each antique work of art to ensure its old age, authenticity and quality condition. We are members of the North American Japanese Garden Association (NAJGA) specializing for ten years now in old and authentic Japanese stone garden ornaments. About Japanese stone lanterns. Japan’s stone lantern tradition is a concept that was imported from India and has existed in Japanese temples and gardens since the 7th century. Japan’s lantern tradition was originally conceived as entrance lighting and guardians to temples and pagodas and when lit served as an offering to Buddha. Some of the earliest stone lanterns were carved with Buddhist images on the firebox and usually had compartments for an oil lamp or candle. Later on, they became more secular in nature, and their use evolved as functional and decorative elements in traditional Japanese tea gardens where they served as a spiritual source of light for evening tea ceremonies. Often carved from granite stone, today’s vintage survivors serve as fashionable aesthetic elements in modern day Japanese and Asian inspired gardens. Today, during festivals and ceremonies, rice paper is often cut to fit stone lantern windows to increase reflection of candles placed inside them. Soon these paper lenses disappear and for one special evening and event, the glow is surreal. There are four main categories of antique Japanese stone lanterns. Tachi-gata are pedestal lanterns such as the famous Kasuga Zodiac lanterns, ikekome-gata are the so-called buried lanterns, oki-gata are small often portable lanterns, and yukimi-gata are renown as “water reflection” lanterns. This latter Yukimi style version perhaps Japan’s most Popular Style, is often mislabeled by westerners as “snow viewing” lantern- thought to accumulate a stack of snow during winter time in America’s northern areas. Names for specific lantern styles often originate from nearby landmarks or natural functions. The Kasuga lantern is fashioned after the ancient lanterns found in Shino shrines of Nara, Japan and some date back to 700 AD. Kasugas typically have a cylindrical column in the form of a bird (crane’s) leg according to some authorities, surmounted by a small ring. Above this is the firebox, generally hexagonal in shape, which is topped with a lotus flower rooftop. Kasuga lanterns are frequently seen at entrances to Japanese tea gardens and as a focal point to modern day gardens. Water reflection or snow viewing lanterns Yukimi-doro are squat and broad roofed and date back to the early Edo period (16th century) and are probably so named because of the attractive capture of snowfall on their broad roof. They comprise a roof, firebox, and base components of various styles. Oki-gata, small portable lanterns are among the rarest of all because few were created and fewer still survived the ravages of time. Sukiya Living magazine, a very good publication for authentic Japanese Sukiya living style, explains the names and positioning of the usually six different sections of a large stone pedestal-style lantern, all carved carefully for balance and transportation ease. These include: Hoh-ju , jewel like flower bud finial.,Kasa, roof., Hibukuro, light box. Nakadai, platform. and Sao, cranes leg shaft. Kiso, base stone.  


  • Of the Period
  • Place of Origin
  • Date of Manufacture
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions
    H 30 in. x Dm 24 in.H 76.2 cm x Dm 60.96 cm
  • Diameter
    24 in. (60.96 cm)
  • Seller Location
    Shelburne, VT
  • Reference Number
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About the Seller

4.9 / 5
Platinum Seller
1stdibs seller since 2015
Located in Shelburne, VT
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