The Garden Guide

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

Stone names related to positions

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Stones sometimes receive names which refer to their position in the landscape, such as,�"Mountain-summit Stone," and in other cases they are described according to their real or supposed functions, such as,�"Torrent-breaking Stone." A number of the terms employed indicate the particular shapes of the stones, or some resemblance they are supposed to bear to other objects. The nomenclature has in some cases been bestowed by noted men and has only local significance. There are five radical shapes recognized for stones employed in garden groups, as follows:� A tall vertical stone, bulging out towards the middle and finishing conically at the top, called the Taido-seki,�the nearest intelligible translation of which is "Statue Stone,"�on account of its supposed resemblance in form to that of the human body. A shorter vertical stone, rounded slightly at the base, finishing in an irregular blunted cone, and resembling the bud of a magnolia flower, the name applied to which is Reiji-seki, which may be rendered as "Low Vertical Stone." (See Fig. 9) A low broad stone of irregular shape and horizontal character, with a flat top, rather higher than the ordinary stepping stone, and called the Shintai-seki, or "Flat Stone." Another stone of medium height, with a broad flat top and bent over to one side in an arched manner; this is called the Shigio-seki, here freely translated as "Arching Stone." The fifth is a long curved and bent boulder of horizontal character, rising higher at one end than the other, and somewhat resembling the trunk of a recumbent animal; it is called the Kikiaku-seki, or "Recumbent Ox Stone."