A 1.5 meter Yukimi Rokkaku Kodai positioned on a stone base

A 1.5 meter Yukimi Rokkaku Kodai positioned on a stone base

Yukimi doro 織部灯籠 - Sometimes called “Snow-viewing Lantern“. The exact origins of the Yukimi Stone Lantern are not known for sure, but it is generally thought to be from the Edo period (1600s). It is believed to have been used to mark peninsular landmasses for boaters.

Although “Yukimi” is the Japanese custom of “snow-viewing”, the original Japanese character describing this lantern may have meant ”floating light”.

The customary placement is at the edge of land and water – in the case of a three-legged lantern, one leg on land and the other two in the water. If this lantern were used to indicate the tide, the wide brim would cast light across the water and reflect the light to its base, showing the water level and indicating safe port or landing site for boats.

A lantern yard showing four forms of Yukimi doro.

A lantern yard showing four forms of Yukimi doro.  Note the matching water base on front lantern vs. the rounded land base with the lantern on the right.

Like the “snow-viewing” window, this lantern is placed low and is known for its large kasa (roof). It is easy to see how one could appreciate this lantern in the snow, especially with a position at the edge of the landscape and the plane of a frozen lake.

Generally, Yukimi doro has a six-sided light box.  The roof can be anywhere from three to eight-sided or round.  It is usually supported by a four-legged base but can have from 3 to 6 legs. Sizes vary from .5 meter to over 3 meters tall (When specifying a size, keep in mind that Yukimi is sometimes sized by the diameter of its roof). There are several forms of yukimi-doro ( see Yukimi-Doro).

Don Pylant, 2015

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