Rice paper lanterns came into use in Japan when paper was first produced there. They have been popular ever since and provide subtle indirect lighting to any dark spot in your home. Now they're electric, not candled, and some have distinctive modern design elements, like decorative lattice rings and convenient arched cross piece on the top collar. Some of these are particularly unique lantern that you won't find in many lamp stores or furniture outlets.
Lighting is a taste thing, and for many, this distinctive Japanese lantern look makes a tasteful statement. Originally designed for candles or oil lamps, the designs have been updated to use energy saving and eco-friendly compact fluorescent electric light bulbs (or incandescent).