Oriental Ornaments

blackburn house koiJapanese stone lanterns date back to the Nara period and the Heian period. Originally they were located only at Buddhist temples, where they lined the paths and approaches to the temple, but in the Heian period they began to be used at Shinto shrines as well. According to tradition, during the Momoyama period they were introduced to the tea garden by the first great tea masters, and in later gardens they were used purely for decoration.

In its complete and original form, a dai-doro, like the pagoda, represents the five elements of Buddhist cosmology. The 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.

Stone water basins, (tsukubai) were originally placed in gardens for visitors to wash their hands and mouth before the tea ceremony. The water is provided to the basin by a bamboo pipe, or kakei, and they usually have a wooden ladle for drinking the water. In tea gardens, the basin was placed low to the ground, so the drinker had to bend over to get his water

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