Chochin (提灯 = Paper Lantern)


Chochin is called

  • a paper lantern
  • a Japanese lantern


Today, I will explain the following points

  • What is Chochin (Japanese lantern)?
  • What is Chochin made of?
  • What is the common types of Chochin?
  • What is the most famous Chochin in Japan?


What is a Chochin?

Chochin is a paper lantern and is hung from a building’s eaves.
Sometimes it can be carried in the Japanese traditional festivals.

What is a Chochin made of?

A Chochin is made from traditional Japanese papers attached to bamboo hoops.
The papers protect the flame from wind.
Also, the spiral structure of the split bamboo wound allows the Chochin to be collapsed into the basket at the bottom.


What is the most common types of Chochin?

“Aka-Chochin (赤提灯)” is the most common types of Chochin.
“Aka” means red in English.

You may see the writing on the surface of Chochin, and usually it indicates the shop’s name, type of food, place, and the name of festivals, etc.

It depends on the purpose of hanging Chochin.

When you look it in front of the Japanese style restaurants, it could be the name of the restaurants or the name of representative food that could be provided.


What is the most famous Chochin in Japan?

When you go to Asakusa in Tokyo, you can see the most famous Chochin in Japan.
A huge red lantern serves at the entrance of Sensoji (浅草寺).

The lantern weights approximately 700 kg, heights 3.9 m, and has 3.3 m in diameter.

The lantern was donated by the manager of Panasonic Corporation (formerly, Matsushita Electric Industrial Company).

When you see the Chochin in Asakusa, you will found the Chinese characters “風雷神門(=Fu-Rai-Jin-Mon)”.

The meaning of each character is

  • 風(Fu) = wind
  • 雷(Rai) = Thunder
  • 神(Jin) = god
  • 門(mon) = gate

This is the name of gate where the red big Chochinn was hunged.



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