proud sponsor of

Japanese suiseki

Suiseki are small, naturally formed stones admired for their beauty and for their power to suiseki (pronounced suu-ee-seck-ee) are those that suggest a distant mountain, a waterfall, an island, a thatched hut, or an animal.

The art of suiseki is believed to have originated some two thousand years ago in China, where small stones of great natural beauty were set on stands to represent islands and mountains associated with Buddhist or Taoist beliefs.  In the sixth century A.D. emissaries from Asian mainland brought several such stones to Japan. The Japanese adapted the art to their own tastes and have practiced it to this day. However most Japanese will tell you the art started in Kyoto.

Suiseki are traditionally exhibited on a carved wooden base called “daiza” or in shallow trays called suiban or doban. When formally exhibited, suiseki are often accompanied by bonsai; dwarfed trees trained to grow into pleasing artistic shapes or art objects of fine quality. The term suiseki means literally “water stone”. It is derived from the ancient custom of displaying miniature landscape stones in trays filled with water and from the association between suiseki and classical Oriental landscaping paintings of mountains and lakes.

In the last thirty years, the popularity of suiseki in Japan has been increasing. Numerous books in Japanese have been written on the subject, and annual exhibitions of suiseki are held in nearly every large Japanese city. Collectors roam the countryside looking for high quality specimens, and some of their finds are sold for tens of thousands of dollars.

Within the last twenty years, an increasing number of non-Japanese, particularly Western bonsai enthusiasts and art collectors have discovered the special beauty of suiseki. These new collectors share with their Japanese counterparts the challenge of searching for suiseki among thousands of ordinary stones and the exhilaration of discovering a specimen that will be admired for generations to come.

  Click to see the items  
Welcome Vistor Number
All Rights Reserved © Custom Oriental Wood-Craft 1999-2008