The Garden Guide

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

Water basin stones

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WATER BASIN STONES. The water basins of a Japanese garden�fully described elsewhere�require certain natural stones for their surroundings and embellishment, and these are named according to their actual or supposed functions in connection with the basin. They are as follows:� "Base Stone" (Dai-ishi),�a natural rock, level on the top, and serving as a stand for certain water basins. "Mirror Stone" (Kagami-ishi). This name has occurred before as applied to one of the stones of a cascade. The present "Mirror Stone" is a broad flat schist of polished surface and bluish colour, placed between the water basin and the verandah, and on which the waste water from the ladle is poured; when wetted it is supposed to reflect surrounding objects. "Purifying Stone" (Shojo-ishi or Kiyome-ishi),�a stone of the "Low vertical" form placed beside the basin, and always kept scrupulously clean and wet. It is also sometimes called the "Peeping Stone" (Nozoki-iski) because, by mounting it, one can look over the top of the basin, which, being generally used from the verandah floor, is some height from the ground. "Water-filling Stone" (Mizukumi-ishi),�a long flat stone upon which the servant stands to fill the basin. "Water-raising Stone" (Mizuage-ishi),�a higher stone than the former, also used for filling the basin from, and placed so as to be half concealed by shrubs. "Water-drain Stones" (Suikomi-ishi),�the name given to several large pebbles placed to hide the drain hole. The drain beneath a water basin is a small shallow sink of irregular shape, either cemented or covered with round pebbles, and sometimes bordered by the heads of small piles of charred wood. The various stones of water basins may be seen illustrated in Plates IX., X., and XX. No vertical stones higher than three feet are allowed in the open space near the rooms of a house as they tend to interrupt the view.