The Garden Guide

Book: Landscape Gardening in Japan, 1912
Chapter: Chapter 5. Garden Water Basins

Principal types of stone water basin

Previous - Next

The principal kinds of Water Basins are as follows:� the "Ornamental Water Basin" (Kazari-chozubachi) con.sists generally of a large natural rock of some interesting shape, flat on the top, and hollowed out as a basin. It is adorned with a little wooden construction, like a miniature shed or temple, to protect the clear water from rain, falling leaves, and sunshine. The "Date-shaped Basin" (Natsume-gata) is of simple oval form, made of roughly wrought granite, with a shallow hollow above for holding the water. The "Bridge-post Basin" (Hashigui-gata),�in imitation of the cylindrical posts used for the newels of wooden and some stone bridges, is hollowed out on the top to form a basin, and has an oblong slit in the side, representing the mortise into which the horizontal balustrade of a bridge is tenoned. It appears probable that the design was copied from an old bridge-post originally used by some noteworthy personage for the purpose of a Garden Basin. The "Oven-shaped Basin" (Doko-gata) is of an elongated cubical form, with a curious curved opening in the side, representing the fire-hole of a Japanese stove. It has a circular hollow on the top to hold the water. The "Round Star Basin" (En-Shoshuku-gata) is simply a short granite cylinder hollowed out to hold water at the top, and inscribed with an astronomical ideograph. This kind of Basin is placed immediately on the ground, without any stand. The "Square Star Basin" (Ho-Shoshuku-gata),�an elongated cube, in granite, similarly hollowed at the top, also inscribed with an astronomical ideograph. The "Stone Bottle Basin" (Sekibin-gata),�of an irregular oval form, somewhat resembling an ordinary stoneware filter, with ears on the sides, and a shallow hole at the top. The "Stone Jar Basin" (Sekisui-gata) is of plain oval vase-shape, its surface sometimes carved with an inscription. The "Bubble Shape Basin" (Wakutama-gata),�a simple globular stone Basin roughly carved on the side with the representation of a saint or hermit, and carried on the head of a wooden pile. The "Iron Basin" (Tetsubachi-gata),�almost similar to the former, but having a somewhat more flattened shape, to imitate the metal bowl used by mendicant priests. The "Four Deities Basin" (Yoho-Butsu-gata),�a basin of rude oval or melon-like shape, carved with representation of four Buddhist deities. This kind of Basin should have a base stone. The "Naniwaji-shape Basin" (Naniwaji-gata),�having two octagonal faces, placed vertically, one inscribed with the name of Naniwaji, a temple near Osaka. It is of narrow width, having the uppermost facet of the octagon hollowed out for holding water. The "Priest's Scarf Basin" (Kesa-gata),�of a flattened oval form, a little broader below than above, decorated with geometrical carving representing the pattern of a priest's scarf. This kind should have a base. The "Genkai-shaped Basin,"�formed of a slender arched bar of granite, in imitation of a Japanese curved stone bridge, and hollowed out at the crown as a bowl. Its name is derived from the Genkai Straits on the West Coast of Japan. The "Shiba Onko Basin," also called the "Decayed Pine Basin," is in the shaped of a broken jar, somewhat resembling a decayed and hollowed stump of wood. Shiba Onko was a man of learning who showed his precocity in boyhood by breaking a large jar of water to deliver his playmate who had fallen into it. This kind belongs to the low form of Water Basins before referred to. The "Fuji-shaped Basin,"�another low vessel, made in the shape of Fujisan, and hollowed out at the top, the crater forming the water-holder. The "Chinese Junk Basin,"�also of the same class, roughly resembling a Chinese boat or junk. The "Ray-fish-shaped Basin" (Anko-gata),�a low Basin of irregular shape, supposed to resemble in outline a fish of the ray species. The "Running-water Basin" (Kakehimizu-gata) is a bowl or pot of stone or earthenware with a broad rim. It is placed on a stone or wooden pillar, filled with running water conveyed to it by means of bamboo aqueducts, and consequently kept in an overflowing condition. Ornamental stones and a sunk drain are arranged around the base of the supporting post.