Japanese Paper Chochin Lanterns
The Japanese paper chochin lanterns were an essential part of everyday Japanese life throughout Japan until the beginning of the 20th century.
Japanese Paper Chochin Lanterns 提灯
Japanese paper chochin lanterns was an essential part of everyday Japanese life throughout Japan until the beginning of the 20th century, when electricity came into widespread, sudden use. In the beginning chochin were made simply by covering a mesh of interwoven thin bamboo slivers with rice paper. The folding or collapsing style, which is in common use today, dates from the early Edo Period (1603-1868). These highly portable lanterns were revolutionary in major urban areas because they enabled the common people to freely walk around at night. Japanese Paper Chochin Lanterns adorn a hoko or festival float during the Yoiyama matsuri in Kyoto
Commonly Used Chochin Styles
1. Rossoku: Used for wedding ceremonies (late Edo). 2. Sokugen Chochin: Used on kago palanquins (mid Edo). 3. Bajo Chochin: Used as signal lights for horse traffic (Edo). 4. Kaichochin: Used for night time travel (mid Edo). 5. Komatsuri: Used for ceremonial occasions in Osaka merchant families (Early Edo to early Showa).
In Kyoto, with its long historical background as the capital, people were accustomed to a night life scene that was more lively and widespread, than anywhere else in Japan. Kyo-chochin were made to be practical and durable above all else. It is said that Kyo-chochin would last for 50 to 60 years if they were kept dry. Due to Kyoto's religious significance while it was the capital (and still today), another side of the chochin paper lantern industry soon developed. Chochin quickly became an essential item for all kinds of temple and shrine ceremonies and festivals. At present, Kyoto's six downtown chochin makers devote 60% of their chochin production to festival decorations, and 40% for temples and shrines. Red, vinyl, izakaya lantern outside a restaurant
Paper or vinyl lanterns are often seen outside Japanese restaurants. They are usually red or white. The writing on the side also announces the kind of food served within, whether it is sushi, ramen or udon noodles. Lanterns are often associated with outdoor stalls or yatai in Japan. The yatai in Fukuoka are famous for their distinctive lanterns as are the ramen joints of Sapporo. The Nagasaki Lantern Festival based around the city's Chinatown takes places in late January to early February
There are several lantern festivals in Japan. Two of the most famous are the Nagasaki Lantern Festival in Nagasaki in Kyushu and the Yanai Goldfish Lantern Festival (Yanai Kingyo Chochin Matsuri) in Yanai in Yamaguchi Prefecture. Yanai Kingyo Chochin Matsuri in Yamaguchi Prefecture takes places during Obon in mid-August