The Tidal Basin in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Japanese Stone Lantern
National Mall and Memorial Parks
— National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —
The stone lantern is part of a gift-giving cycle that began in 1912 with Japan's donation of cherry trees. The lantern commemorates the 100th anniversary of Commodore Matthew Perry's historic mission to Japan and stands as a gesture of everlasting peace and friendship. It also represents the concept of healing wounds and moving toward universal understanding.
A Commemoration. Matthew Calbraith Perry, Commodore of the U.S. Navy, opened the doors of trade
Perry made two treks, first in 1852 and again in 1854, in an effort to secure safe entry of American vessels to Japanese ports for trade, obtain supplies for the commercial whaling fleet, and ensure a safe return of shipwrecked sailors. In March, 1854, improved relations with Japan became reality when representatives of Japan and the United States signed the Treaty of Kanagawa.
Lighting the Way. The National Park Service and the National Conference of State Societies (NCSS) have conducted the Lantern Ceremony since 1954. Every year, the lantern is lit by the Embassy of Japan's appointed Cherry Blossom Princess.
The audience will count down from five, and like the Olympic torch, the lantern is lit in an exciting traditional event that signals the arrival of spring and represents one of the most beautiful times in the Nation's Capital.
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Location. Marker is missing. It was located near 38° 53.211′ N, 77° 2.473′ W. Marker was in The Tidal Basin, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker was on Independence Avenue Southwest east of West Basin Drive Southwest, on the right when traveling Touch for map. Marker was in this post office area: Washington DC 20037, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. A Symbol of International Friendship (here, next to this marker); Lighting the Way (here, next to this marker); The First Japanese Cherry Trees (within shouting distance of this marker); John Paul Jones Memorial (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); District of Columbia World War Memorial (was about 700 feet away but has been reported missing. ); District of Columbia War Memorial (about 700 feet away); a different marker also named John Paul Jones Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in The Tidal Basin.
Regarding Japanese Stone Lantern. This marker was replaced by "A Symbol of International Friendship" marker.
Also see . . . Western Intrusions and the end of the Tokugawa Rule. (Submitted on April 3, 2006.)
1. Anatomy of a Stone Lantern ~ ishidourou
A diagram on the marker describes each part of the stone lantern. From top to bottom:
houju — A sacred gem believed to possess the power to banish evil, cleanse corruption
kasa — Acts as an umbrella over the fire box. A hexagonal shape, it terminates in scrolls with three cherry blossoms decorating the hood.
hiburkuro — Where the fire is lit. It is hexagonal and imaginative, with the full and crescent phases of the moon on the light openings.
chuudal — Middle base of lantern. Hexagonal with an inverted lotus forming the lower part.
sao — The shaft of the stone lantern that is set on a base and supports the entire lantern. The lantern bears an inscription written in Japanese on the side facing the water.
kiso — The base of a stone lantern.
kidan — The platform or podium.
— Submitted April 2, 2006.
Categories. • Peace • War, World II •
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Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2019. This page originally submitted on April 2, 2006, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. This page has been viewed 22,271 times since then and 46 times this year. Last updated on November 3, 2010, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. Photos: 1. submitted on April 2, 2006, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. 2. submitted on March 30, 2006, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. 3. submitted on April 2, 2006, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. 4. submitted on January 6, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. 5. submitted on April 2, 2006, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. 6. submitted on April 16, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.