Today I went to Ueno Toshogu shrine (A.D.1627) in the Ueno park, it is enshrining Ieyasu Tokugawa (1542-1616) first Shogun of Tokugawa shogunate. You can see many lanterns (made in 1628 and 1651) along the approach to the main building. At the gate, they are stone lanterns, and copper lanterns near the shrine building. Taito Education Comittee commented;
There are 50 copper lanterns at Toshogushaden Karamonmae (in front of Karamon gate of Toshogu shrine main building) and Sando (the approach to the shrine). The lanterns are not used for illumination purposes, but are used for purification and sacred fires required when performing religious ceremonies. These copper lanterns were the offerings of the Daimyos (feudal lords) from all over Japan to Toshogu shrine. The names of the donors are written on the supports of the lanterns. These lanterns, together with Toshogu shrine’s main building, are designated as National Treasures of Japan.