A toro is a traditional lantern often made of stones, woods, or metals. It is believed to be originated in China. Toro were originally used only in Buddhist temples, where they lined and illuminated paths. During the Heian period (794-1185), however, they started being used also in Shinto shrines and private homes. As a Buddhist ceremony, there is a practice called “to- ro- nagashi” which guides the spirits of the departed back to the other world by floating paper lanterns down the river.



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