Japanese Garden Stones
Japanese Garden Stones 藤戸石
Stones are the most important feature of a Japanese garden. If the ground is the "flesh" of a Japanese garden, then the stones are its "bones".
Garden stones fall into three main categories: "named" stones, unimportant "unnamed" stones, and stones that already existed on the site.
The most famous named stone in Japan is called Fujito after the beach in Okayama Prefecture where it was discovered. Fujito was owned by both the warlords Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi, two of the most important figures in Japanese history. Wrapped in silk brocade, Fujito was moved from garden to garden to the accompaniment of music. Nowadays, it can be found in the garden of Sampo-in, a sub-temple of the Daigo-ji Temple complex in south east Kyoto. Do-it-yourself landscape gardening is a dangerous undertaking for an inexperienced person in Japan, as there are many taboos associated with stones. Bad fortune can come from setting upright a rock that was found lying horizontally, or from setting horizontally a stone that was found standing vertically. Setting a stone upside down releases the evil spirit in the stone resulting in a whole heap of problems.
Colors of Stones
There are five colors of stone, one for each element: red for fire, black for water, blue/green for wood, white for metal, and yellow for earth. The most extreme repercussion for messing up in this category results from making the mistake of planting a tree with red blossoms next to a red stone set in the south of a garden of a person born in a year associated with fire. This is called a combination of four fires and the result will be that the unfortunate person's house will burn down.
Books on Japanese Gardens
To learn more about Japanese gardens, purchase a copy of Japanese Garden Design (by Marc P. Keane, a former Kyoto-based American gardener), or The Art of Zen Gardens: A Guide to their Creation and Enjoyment (by A. K. Davidson; this excellent how-to book is perfect if you want to create your own Japanese garden). Kurotani Washi Your Japan Private Tours: Save time, go anywhere & have more fun for less $$$: Private guided tours and digital guidance anywhere in Japan: Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and beyond. Customized itineraries for day & night tours designed by an expert. High-value self or digitally guided tours, picnics, and special walks in PDF format. Off the beaten track and creative. Contact us in San Francisco or Kyoto today! +1-415-230-0579.
Japanese garden stones are the most important feature of a Japanese garden. If the ground is the flesh of a Japanese garden, then the stones are its bones.