Today was a crazy busy day in the office. The weekend was long due. Hoping that sharing this lantern card from Japan will brighten everything! (Because I know my lackluster puns won’t XD) This card shows a number of Japanese lanterns; specifically, chouchin lanterns! These are paper lanterns that can be found around Japan, particularly at bars, temples, restaurants, and hung during festivals. One place that comes to mind is Kaminaron Gate, in Asakusa, Tokyo, which has a large one that hangs in the middle of the walkway. These lanterns are often red or white, and the light comes from a bulb sitting inside (which differs from the stone lanterns – the tourou – which use oil). Paper lanterns originated in China around 230 BC, when Emperor Ming ordered for them to be hung around the palace and monasteries, symbolic of the power of Buddhism (this is also what spurred things like the Chinese Lantern Festival). Something interesting to note about the Japanese paper lanterns is the style of lettering used on them, known as chouchinmoji, which was used during the Edo period (edomoji). This is characterized by thick brushstrokes, and honestly it’s similar to most types of edomoji, save for the rectangular kakuji used for making seals. Paper lanterns are so cool in my opinion – so much that I have one at home! Thanks so much for this beautiful postcard!