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Thousands of these Kasuga lanterns adorn the temple grounds, and the exact form is that of "a high cylindrical standard, with a small amulet in the centre, erected on a base and plinth of hexagonal plan, and supporting an hexagonal head crowned with a stone roof of double curve, having corner scrolls. l8 FLOWERS AND GARDENS OF JAPAN a ball drawn to a point above. " These lanterns may vary in size, from six to as much as eighteen feet, and in this colossal size make a most imposing decoration for a large garden.
Their presence in all gardens in Japan is essential, as the use of turf being almost, if not entirely, unknown for paths and open spaces, it is replaced by firmly beaten earth, or, for larger spaces, by fine sand carefully raked into patterns; as footmarks, and more especially the marks of wooden clogs, would destroy the symmetry of these patterns, and in damp weather cut up the beaten earth, the use of stones for crossing the spaces or taking a walk round the garden is an absolute necessity. The alternative name for these stones is Flying Stones or ScatteTed Islands, which at once suggests how gracefully and artistically they are placed.
The position of these lanterns in the garden should be partly overshadowed by the crooked branch of a spreading pine-tree, and certainly after a fall of snow the effect is one of great beauty. Ornamental bronze or iron lanterns are hung by a chain from the eaves of the verandah of either the principal house or tea-room, and, like the water-basin, are often very beautiful in design. Bronze Standard lanterns are never seen in landscape gardens, only as votive offerings to temples; but occasionally an iron lantern with no standard, 30 FLOWERS AND GARDENS OF JAPAN only resting on low feet, may be placed on a Hat stone near the water's edge, or nestling in the shadow of a group of evergreen shrubs.
Electricity by Fep International Ltd