1939 Granite Lantern
The Japanese Young Men’s Association League gave the granite lantern to the City of Fresno in 1939. It was hand-carved, originally 11 feet high and weighed 3 tons. Roy Oto delivered it to the City.
It originally stood on Washington Island in Roeding Park and was the focal point of the Japanese garden, which included a 3-story pagoda, 1,000 tropical plants, tori gate, 2 ponds, 3 fountains and a brass bell. From the dedication by Bertrand W. Gearhart. “This lantern is a perpetual reminder of the cooperation of the Japanese Pilgrims to America who came here to make this country their home, and in return gave of their best in advancing the cause of American idealism.”
As things changed during WWII, the island became known as “Oriental.” In January of 1943, the pagoda was destroyed due to decay from rot and the lantern disappeared. Following a search and discovery of the lantern, it was placed in Shinzen in 2001 and is one of the Garden’s main attractions.
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 16178, Fresno, CA 93755-6178
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