7724 A suiseki (viewing stone) of vertical form with a natural striation resembling a waterfall, with wood stand
Japan 20th century Taisho period
Stone H. 29cm x W. 7cm x D. 6.5cm (11½” x 3” x 2¾”)
Stone and stand H. 30cm x W. 9cm x D. 7cm (12” x 3¾” x 3”)
Suiseki, literally, “water and stones”, are small, naturally shaped stones traditionally admired for their beauty and are closely associated with nature and natural landscapes. They are similar to Chinese scholar’s rocks which were brought to Japan as Imperial gifts and influenced the development of suiseki in Japan. Suiseki have been appreciated and meditated by Japanese people in general but in particular by scholars, nobles and tea masters. They are expressive with special shapes, colour or texture, and suggest scenes from nature such as mountains, waterfalls, lakes, rivers, thatched huts, hills and cliffs. They can also resemble animals or human shapes or simply bear rare and beautiful features.
The vertical stones with sharp edges like this example are usually regarded as mountains but also suggest rising fire or a legendary land of Horai-san (Penglai Immortal Island) where according to Chinese mythology, the immortals lived.