Yame Lanterns


It seems likely that Yame Chochin came into being sometime at the beginning of the 19th century with the painting of simple decorations on a rudimentary form of paper lantern. By the middle of the same century great advances had been achieved in the design, causing something of a revolution in their making. And, by the end of the century, lanterns occupied an important position within local industry.

A number of things became instrumental in assuring the acclaim, which was bestowed on Yame Chochin. Firstly, a single spiraling splint of bamboo came to be used. A much thinner, locally made paper was also adopted, thus making the interior of the lanterns more visible. And finally there was the realistically painted representations of landscapes, flora and fauna. Today modern style lanterns for the summer Bon Festival are made along side others still retaining a time honored simplicity, combining locally developed techniques and introduced skills. A wide variety of different style lanterns are shipped all over the country and abroad.


Yame Chochin features single spiral bamboo bone and uses Yame Tesuki Gami (thicker washi). This made the lantern transparent in the inside, and along with the image of the nature painted on the surface, it became famous as lantern that gives soothing impression suited for summer time. The techniques cultivated in Yame is still living in both the old-fashioned lanterns and the modern Bon lanterns manufactured today. Their elegance is widely acknowledged and not only they boast number one production among the nation, they are also shipped worldwide.

How to make

A bamboo bone is wrapped following the groove which is carved in the basement for assembly. The bone is glued and then the paper is applied onto the bone. Overlapped papers are cut off. The basement is taken away after the glue is dried. Painting is drawn on the hibukuro (body) by brush. After coated by lacquer, it is completed by assembling the upper and lower lacquered fixings, foot and accessories.