Chochin lantern

Chochin is a Japanese portable lantern whose source of light is a candle. On its top and bottom there are rings. Between them there is a spiral-shaped bamboo coil. This enables the fact that the lantern can be folded flat.

Japanese chochin lantern
Japanese chochin lantern

Chochin lantern was designed in Odawara, Kanagawa prefecture. That is why the term Odawara Chochin is sometimes also used. According to folk beliefs these lanterns even have magical powers. They protect from evil spirits. Some materials needed in making of this lantern are brought from the Saijoji Temple on the holy mountain Daiyu. There is a belief that a long-nosed goblin Tengu lives there. Evil spirits can not harm the goblin.

Chochin lanterns are resistant to the effect of rain or any kind of bad weather. They were used for different purposes. Some were put hung from the eaves outside restaurants and other buildings. People also carried them in religious processions.