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What is Chochin? Chochin is a traditional craftwork in Japan.

About Chochin (提灯-Japanese lantern)

The Chochin is a portable lighting fixture and traditional craftwork uniquely developed in Japan. A candle is set up in a basket made of bamboo with Japanese paper attached to it.

These days, there are Japanese lanterns made of various materials, and many Japanese lanterns are also lit by light bulbs. We can hang it on the end of a stick and carry it around to light up our feet or fold it when we are not using it.

There are many types of Japanese lanterns, and they are used in many scenes, such as shrine lanterns, Obon(#) lanterns (lanterns that are displayed when making offerings to ancestors), lanterns in front of shops, and samurai dramas on TV.

(#) Obon is a traditional Japanese event to welcome the spirits of ancestors and is observed from August 13th to August 16th.

About the beginning of Chochin

It is said that the origin of the Japanese lantern was “Sageru Hi(Sageru = 提げる, Hi = 灯),” which is used as a light under the entrance of a house and as a light in hand.

Originally introduced from China, “Kago lanterns” were used in the Muromachi period (1336-1573), when paper was attached to a bamboo basket.

By the end of the 16th century, lanterns that could be folded up were available. It can be folded up and down by attaching paper to the spiral-wrapped bamboo belly.

We can hang it on the end of a stick and carry it around to light up our feet or fold it when not used. It also became a big boom in the Edo period because of its lightness and convenience. They came in various shapes and sizes in various places.

One of the more famous ones is the Odawara Chochin. It was a long, thin cylindrical shape, and when folded up, the top and bottom overlap to make it smaller, so it was useful for carrying.

About the current use of Chochin

Nowadays, there are traditional Japanese lanterns as well as highly original and unique Japanese lanterns.
We believe that the valuable creation of lanterns will continue in the future.