The Garden Guide

Book: Landscape Gardening in Japan, 1912
Chapter: Chapter 12. Garden Composition

Named stones for Hill Gardens Tsukiyama

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The present model shows ten important rocks or stones. No. 1 is generally called the "Guardian Stone," but sometimes it corresponds to the "Stone of Fudo" or the "Cascade-supporting Stone," which have been separately described under the head of Cascade Stones. It is a high standing stone, occupying the most central position of the background, and is supposed to be the dedication stone of the garden. In the present illustration it forms�as one of its names implies�the flank of the cliff over which the cascade pours. Sometimes it is roughly carved with a representation of Fudo, the patron god of waterfalls; or it carries on its crown a small statuette of that deity. Stone 2 is used as a mate to No. 1, being placed on the opposite side of the fall; it is of lower altitude, with a flattish top, and arches over slightly so as to screen a portion of the torrent. Various names are given to it, such as:�"Cliff Stone," "Wave-dividing Stone," and "Water-receiving Stone." No. 3, which is broad and flat, is called the "Worshipping Stone," and is placed more in the foreground of the landscape, in the centre of an island or of some broad open space approached by stepping stones. This stone, together with No. 1, must, in some form or other, be introduced into all Japanese gardens; for, as the "Guardian Stone" represents the presiding genius of the garden, so does the "Worshipping Stone" indicate the oratory or position of worship. The former must be clearly seen from the latter; and the "Guardian Stone" occupying as it does the most important position in the background, it follows that, next to the dwelling itself, the best general view of the landscape is obtained from the "Worshipping Stone." Stone 4 is placed in the nearer foreground and to one side of the garden. It is of high elevation, with flattish faces and a broad base, and is called the "Perfect View Stone," being supposed to mark an important point in the landscape; two or more broad low stones are introduced to group with it. When placed in a "Guest's Isle" it is called the "Guest-saluting Stone"; in addition to which the names "Interviewing Stone," "Shoes-removing Stone," "Nightingale-dwelling Stone," and "Water-fowl Stone," are all occasionally applied to it. Stone 5 is used on the opposite side of the garden to No. 4, and is somewhat similar in shape, though more conical, and secondary in size. It is called the "Waiting Stone," and should be mated with a low flat boulder called the "Water Tray Stone," both being placed near the edge of the lake, and carefully arranged with regard to the highest level of the water. Placed on the "Master's Isle," this stone occasionally receives one of the following names, to indicate its imaginary functions:�"Stone of Easy Rest," "Stone of Amusement," and "Seat Stone." No. 6, called the "Moon Shadow Stone," occupies an important position in the distance, being placed in the hollow between the two principal hills, and in front of the distant peak. Its name implies an indistinctness and mystery attaching to it in common with the distant peak, in front of which it is placed. As is the case with all vertical stones, it is accompanied by one or more horizontal stones, but the addition of shrubs or other detail is not allowed, as thereby the idea of remoteness would be lost. No. 7, called the "Cave Stone," is a standing stone of similar character to the "Guardian Stone," which it occasionally replaces. In the present example it is erected a little to the right and rear of Stone 1, and beside the central group of trees; and a broad flat rock is paired with it. No. 8 generally goes by the name of the "Seat of Honour Stone," but is also called the "Stone of Kwannon." It is a broad flat stone, and after the "Worshipping Stone" is the most important reclining stone of the garden. It is allied with a small vertical stone of secondary importance. Stone 9 is called the "Pedestal Stone," or the "Snail Stone;" it ranks first among the stepping stones arranged in the foreground, being higher than the others and of a double stepped form. Stone 10, called the "Idling Stone," actually consists of a pair of stones, broad, low, and slightly rounded, placed in a shady spot near the edge of the water, and in the mid-distance of the garden. Other stones shown in the Plate are secondary in importance and have no special names, but they are grouped in a manner similar to that adopted with those already described.