The Garden Guide

Book: Landscape Gardening in Japan, 1912
Chapter: Chapter 2. Garden Stones

Lakes and stones representing sea views

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It must be remembered that garden lakes are often intended to represent sea views, hence the reason for some of the following names, which apply rather to ocean than to fresh water scenery:� "Wild Wave Stone" (Doto-seki),�placed at the edge of a lake, to meet the ripple of the water. "Flying Geese Stone" (Suigan-seki)�a stone which fancy has associated with the flight of wild geese. "Sea-gull-resting Stone" (Oshuku-seki),�situated on the beach and supposed to form a favourite rest for sea-gulls. "Water-tray Stone" (Suibon-seki),�a large flat stone placed in a lake so that at high tide its surface is just above the water level. It should be within an easy step from the bank. In deep lakes such stones are often supported from below by means of a platform built on wooden piles. "Fish-diverting Stones" (Yugio-seki),�two stones on the brink of a stream or lake, hollowed out below so as to let the water flow underneath, and forming a passage for fish. "Nameless Stone" (Mumio-seki),�placed in the bed of a river. "Tsuten Stone" (Tsuten-ishi),�so called after a pretty river view near Kioto, noted for its fine maples. The same spot has a picturesque bridge, also imitated in landscape gardens, the Tsuten Stone being employed beside it. "Planet Stone" (Gesshuku-seki),�placed in the middle of a wide river. The name seems altogether chimerical. "Tortoise Stone" (Kame-ishi or Ki-seki),�fixed on the bank of a river, and resembling in shape a turtle or tortoise. "Crane Stone" (Tsuru-ishi),�supposed to resemble a crane, and arranged to face the "Tortoise Stone." In Japan, both the crane and the tortoise are emblems of long life, and the presence of the above two stones on a beach or sandy bed is considered very auspicious. The resemblance to the objects suggested is, however, often very indistinct. "Long Life Stones" (Funio-seki),�three stones placed together on the edge of a beach. "Good Luck Stone" (Fuku-iski), and "Life and Death Stone" (Shobo-seki). are two stones used on the banks of a lake. "Green Moss Stone" (Seitai-seki),�mentioned also amongst hill stones,�may be included in this list, as it occupies an intermediary position between land and water.