The Garden Guide

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

Valley stones for low areas

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VALLEY STONES. The following stones are suitable for the low and level parts of gardens, such as valleys, plains, and pathways:� "Stones of the Two Gods" (Nijin-seki or Ni-O-seki),�a pair of similar Standing Stones intended to represent the guardian deities of the site, and arranged in the flat portion of a garden, near the entrance, just as two statues of Buddhist Devas are placed in the entrance gates of temples. Formerly, the ceremony of erecting these stones in position constituted a sort of dedication of the garden. They were washed perfectly clean, and rice and wine were placed before them. "Stones of the Three Gods" (Sanjin-seki),�three vertical rocks sometimes used in combination instead of the above. "Stone of Worship" (Reihai-seki or Hai-seki),�generally placed near a sacred stone such as the "Stone of the Two Deities," and at some point in the front of a garden, to form a station from which the best view may be obtained. It is a broad, flat stone upon which one stands in a posture of veneration. "Waiting Stone" (Hikae-seki),�the name given to a Standing Stone, more or less conical in shape, placed in the foreground of the garden. "View-receiving Stone" (Shozo-seki),�the meaning of which term is not quite clear. It probably indicates a point from which the finest prospect of the garden can be had. "View-completing Stone" (Tailo-seki),�probably referring to the importance of this stone in the distant view. "Distancing Rock" (Mikoski-iwa),�a rock partly hidden behind a hill, or placed in some shady part of the background, and intended to increase the idea of distance in a garden. "Peeping Stone" (Nozoki-ishi),�a stone screened partially from view by shrubs and trees. "Wine Cup Stone" (Sakazuki-ishi),�so named from its supposed resemblance in shape to a Japanese wine cup. "Way-side Stone" (Dokio-seki),�situated on the side of a real or imaginary pathway, and suitable for resting upon. "Passing-on Stone" (Koro-seki),�placed at the side of a walk, like a milestone; it should be a vertical stone, unsuitable as a seat, and contrasting in character with the "Way-side Stone."