BONSAI WORLD A series of articles by The Shikoku Shimbun focuses on the attractions of bonsai which encapsulate small universes in containers.

Suiseki cerates taste of waterside

April 28, 2012

 Suiseki and bonsai are important to each other. Suiseki represents a taste of waterside in condensed way, just like bonsai represents forests and groves in a pot. A Japanese traditional style which expresses the great atmosphere of mountains and rivers, "Karesansui", is also an extension of suiseki.

Five factors of great suiseki

 Great suiseki must have the five factors such as shape, material, color, texture, and age.

 The shape should be reminded of something in nature. The material should be hard and dense, and it is better if it can maintain a moist after watering. About the color, black, brown and purple is preferred.
 In addition, the fine texture has natural hole, unevenness, fold and line. And "aged" stone by Mochikomi and longtime Yoseki is highly valued.

 The most important thing for suiseki is the ancient look. So the new stones, "Araishi", just collected from rivers are often unsuitable for suiseki display. It needs to do "Yoseki" by exposing stones to the sun on the shelf in the garden and sometimes watering as same as bonsai.

Use sanukite for suiseki

 Endo Takao, Kasuga-cho in Takamatsu city, is the leading person of suiseki in Kagawa. He serves as the president of suiseki club, "Kyokusuikai".

Endo enjoys the beauty of famous Takiishi in Takamatsu's Nishikasuga town.
Endo enjoys the beauty of famous Takiishi in Takamatsu's Nishikasuga town.

 The stones from rivers are used in suiseki. Some great ones can be found from famous rivers such as Fujikawa and Tenryugawa in Shizuoka, Uonogawa in Niigata, Kamogawa in Ehime and Shimantogawa in Kochi. Unfortunately, there is no big river for good suiseki in Kagawa.

 Endo starts to try to use sanukite which is a Kagawa's specialty for suiseki. After much trial and error, he finally completed a suiseki work with sanukite in this summer. It is truly a fresh suiseki from Kagawa.

Suiseki work using sanuki's specialty,
Suiseki work using sanuki's specialty, "sanukite"

 Endo says, "This is a proposal to have fun with suiseki by using Kagawa's stone. The challenge now is how to get the atmosphere like the great stones."
(By Shigeo Hano)
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