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Suiseki and its wooden base at "Exhibition Suiseki and Shangshi" in Prague, 2011

Suiseki (水石) is the Japanese term for small naturally occurring or shaped rocks which are traditionally appreciated. They are similar to Chinese scholar's rocks.[1]

Suiseki can be any color. There are a wide variety of sizes. Suiseki can weigh hundreds of pounds or less than one pound. The term also means stones which are placed in traditional Japanese gardens.

History[change | change source]

Chinese scholar's rocks influenced the development of suiseki in Japan.[2] The history of suiseki in Japan begins during the reign of Empress Suiko. The small objects were brought to Japan as gifts from the Chinese Imperial court.[3]

Evaluation[change | change source]

The evaluation of suiseki recognizes color, shape, markings and surface. According to Hideo Marushima (丸島秀夫, Marushima Hideo, 1934- ) in The History of Suiseki in Japan (日本愛石史, Nihon aisekishi),

It is not a silly thing at all to enjoy a stone in a tray. I see the whole world in a tiny stone. Some objects in this world are huge, and others are small, and they come in all shapes, but they are not that different when you look at their essence.[4]

Some types of suiseki suggest a mountain, a waterfall, an island, a thatched hut or an animal.[1]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Cousins, Craig. (2006). Bonsai Master Class, p. 244.
  2. Brokaw, Charles. (2011). The Temple Mount Code, p. 73.
  3. Corvello, Vincent T. and Yūji Yoshimura. (1996). The Japanese Art of Stone Appreciation: Suiseki and Its Use With Bonsai, p. 17.
  4. Rivera, Felix G. (1997). Suiseki: The Japanese Art of Miniature Landscape Stones, p. 40, citing The History of Suiseki in Japan (日本愛石史, Nihon aisekishi).

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Suiseki at Wikimedia Commons