By Ella du Cane
First released in 2005
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Extra info for Flowers & Gardens Of Japan
STONES IG ~o FLOWERS AND GARDENS OF JAPAN To the eye of a Japanese one stone wrongly placed would upset all the balance and repose of the picture. Large rocks and boulders seem to be essential for the success of a large garden, and are used to suggest mountains, hills, and the rocks of the natural scene; any very fantastic and artificiallooking rocks are avoided, for fear they should give an appearance of unreality to the landscape. The fancy of giving sex to certain stones, and in temple grounds of assigning holy attributes and even of giving them the names of Buddhist deities, dates from very early days, and this custom of applying a religious meaning to the most important rocks survives to this day.
So often the water scenery of the garden is intended to represent sea-views, the favourite being a portion of the scenery of Matsushima with its countless islets, that many of these Lake Stones have names suggestive of the sea; such as the "Sea-gull Resting Stone," situated on a stony beach, or the "Wild 'Vave Stone," placed so as to meet the current of the water. " "The Stone of Fudo," named after a Buddhist god, and its eight small attendants, the "Children Stones," are among the more important features of the cascade or waterfall.
Then came the more modern style of gardening: from 1189 to 1830 was a period when large palaces were built and surrounded by magnificent gardens, fit residences for the great Tokugawa feudal lords. For these gardens great sums were expended on collecting stones from all parts of the country, and often a garden would be left unfinished until the exact stone suited to express the required religious or poetical feeling, or else specially required to complete a miniature The exnatural scene, had been procured.