The Garden Guide

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

Stepping stones Tsutai-ishi

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STEPPING STONES. Turf was not used to any extent in ancient Japanese gardens though it has been introduced recently in imitation of foreign methods, and with a view to economise labour in garden-making and tending. In an orthodox garden the plain open portions are spread with sand carefully raked in patterns, or as is still more common, a firm surface of beaten earth, well weeded and swept, is retained. As this is kept slightly damp at all times, and in summer profusely wetted, it presents a cool and fresh surface. In order to preserve such earthen and sanded areas, which the Japanese wooden clogs would cut to pieces, and also as a comfort to the pedestrian when the soil is wet, a pathway is invariably constructed with "Stepping Stones," called Tsutai-ishi.