The Garden Guide

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

Stone transport

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The value set on stones of good shape, proportion, and colour, leads to the transport of such material from immense distances at the expenditure of much time and labour. It is recorded that in the Tempo period (1830-1844), the mania for rare and costly stones became so extravagant that an edict was issued fixing a limit to the amount permitted to be paid for a single specimen. For ordinary gardens, in which it is impossible to incur great expense for transportation, the stones introduced depend much on the locality. At Osaka and Kioto,�in the neighourhood of which cities granite boulders and river and sea rocks are easily obtainable,�the more common description of gardens will be found to possess them in profusion. Near Tokio and Yokohama the gardeners have recourse chiefly to the black volcanic rocks procurable in the vicinity of Hakone and Fuji-san, and the schists found at Nebukawa, near Idzu. The local experts also display much skill in constructing large artificial rocks of natural appearance with pieces of black mountain scoria.