Monday, November 24, 2014

Carpe Diem #612, Lantern

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I am in the nightshift (the next five nights) so I don't have a lot of time to write big posts, but of course I will publish every day, maybe sometimes very early or later than I normally do.

Today our prompt is lantern and the first thing which comes in mind is those wonderful Japanese Garden-lanterns, the classical ones as you can see everywhere in Japanese Gardens. So I think I will just leave you all with a wonderful picture of a Japanese Garden lantern. So this episode is a kind of Carpe Diem Imagination. Let the picture inspire you to write an all new haiku ...

Credits: Stone Garden Lantern (Toro)
The above photo is a so called "Tooroo" lantern and I have found some background about these Garden lanterns at Wikipedia which I love to share here with you all.

In Japan a tōrō (灯籠 or 灯篭, 灯楼 light basket, light tower?) is a traditional lantern made of stone, wood, or metal. Like many other elements of Japanese traditional architecture, it originated in China, however extant specimen in that country are very rare, and in Korea they are not as common as in Japan. In Japan, tōrō were originally used only in Buddhist temples, where they lined and illuminated paths. Lit lanterns were then considered an offering to Buddha. During the Heian period (794-1185), however, they started being used also in Shinto shrines and private homes.

Tōrō can be classified in two main types, the tsuri-dōrō (釣灯籠・掻灯・吊り灯籠 lit. hanging lamp?), which usually hang from the eaves of a roof, and the dai-dōrō (台灯籠 lit. platform lamp?) used in gardens and along the approach (sandō) of a shrine or temple. The two most common types of dai-dōrō are the bronze lantern and the stone lantern, which look like hanging lanterns laid to rest on a pedestal.
In its complete, original form (some of its elements may be either missing or additions), like the gorintō and the pagoda the dai-dōrō represents the five elements of Buddhist cosmology.The bottom-most piece, touching the ground, represents chi, the earth; the next section represents sui, or water; ka or fire, is represented by the section encasing the lantern's light or flame, while fū (air) and kū (void or spirit) are represented by the last two sections, top-most and pointing towards the sky. The segments express the idea that after death our physical bodies will go back to their original, elemental form.

Credits: Hanging Toro
As you have read above the Japanese Garden lantern had a very spiritual background based on the five elements. And it is said that the light of the Toro will point you the way to Nirwana and can even point you the way back to life. I don't know if that's true, but I like the idea that there is a light on our path to Heaven and even the possibility that it will point us the way back.

at the graveyard
next to a new grave ... the light of a lantern
standing guard

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode will be open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until November 27th at noon (CET). I will try to post our new episode, a new GW-post, later on. For now ... have fun, be inspired and share. !! Also ONLINE NOW our new Time Glass episode !!

1 comment:

  1. The haiku really spoke to me, Chevrefeuille. At the nearby cemetery people have started to leave solar lanterns at their loved ones' graves -- and it is very lovely and very comforting at night.

    Sorry you have night shift again :(