The Pair of Japanese Bronze Lanterns at Brigham Young University



Brigham Young University has recently acquired a pair of handsome Japanese temple lanterns, made of bronze. Metal lanterns of this type were called kane doro, and they were used almost entirely as temple lanterns. They were either placed around the outside of the temple building itself, or were placed in rows in the outer gardens, often lining the avenue of approach. Generally they were pious gifts from individuals who offered them in memory of some deceased friend or relative.

These are no exception, because the inscription says that these were respectfully offered, on June 19, 1716, by a high official of the Tokugawa Family, which then ruled Japan, to be placed in the courtyard before the mausoleum of Lord Yusho (the Seventh Tokugawa Shogun, who died in 1716), in memory of him. These were two out of a set of twelve which he presented at that time.

The two lanterns are practically the same in construction; so a precise description of one should serve to explain both. The basic idea of the whole structure is to represent the Universe in symbolic form, with all its component parts.


Purchase this Issue

Share This Article With Someone

Share This Article With Someone