The Kotoji Japanese lantern is synomous with the famous Kenroku-en Garden created in 1620. The stone lantern takes its shape from the bridge on a Koto which is a traditional stringed musical instrument.
During the Narinaga Period (1782-1824) Kotoji lanterns had 2 legs which were the same length and they were often placed in the shallow water of a pond. Our Kotoji lanterns are carved to this specification. Legend has it that one leg on the Kotoji latern at Kenroku-en became damaged and was buried into the river bank for stability by the gardeners, thus giving the appearance of unequal leg lengths. This has become an iconic image and has influenced the positioning of these lanterns today.
Currently Kotoji Lanterns are positioned with unequal length legs. Typically one leg sits in the water and one leg on the shore to create a sense of harmony between sea and land. This can be achieved by digging one leg into the ground or simply cutting it shorter.
The Kotoji Lantern is predrilled to accept a low voltage light, that we offer for an additional £ 19.