Reframe Japan, Wabi-Sabi

Kamui Cotan ( 神居古潭 )

Kamui Cotan ( 神居古潭 ) in Japan

Kamui Cotan is a name of the place in Asahikawa-shi, Hokkaido.

By the way, Asahikawa-shi is the capital of the sub-prefecture, and the second-largest city in Hokkaido, after Sapporo.

The Ishikari River flows through Asahikawa and Sapporo and Kamui Cotan is placed apart about 14km from Asahikawa-shi in a western direction.

Although Kamui Cotan is placed in big city, Asahikawa-shi, it is a place full of nature and a scenic spot. The view of this valley is beautiful.

 Kamui Cotan ( 神居古潭 )

The meaning of Kamui Cotan is where God lives in Ainu people language since Kamui Cotan was dangerous spot in water transportation of Ainu people. Kamui Cotan is historic site, a site where pit dwellings and stone circle are found.

Kamui Cotan is also famous for metamorphic rock belt.

 Kamui Cotan ( 神居古潭 )

Kamui Cotan Seki ( 神居古潭石 )

As mentioned above, Kamui Cotan is a name of place but for stone collectors, Kamui Cotan has another meaning.

Kamui Cotan or Kamui Cotan Seki is one of Suiseki.

As mentioned above, Kamui Cotan is famous for metamorphic rock belt. And from the metamorphic rock belt, rolling metamorphic rocks are drowned by the Ishikari River.

Kamui Cotan Seki is basically, metamorphic rock including serpentinite.

Kamui Cotan Seki has hard solid, sliminess surface, enjoyable feeling of the material, and unique texture.

Further, Kamui Cotan has about ten types of differences. Kamui Cotan Seki is considered to be a king of Suiseki.

The following photo is one of Kamui Kotan Seki which is called as Honmaguro ( 本真黒 ).

Basically, Kamui Kotan Seki is black or dark green color. Yellow and Red Kamui Kotan Seki are actually, jasper.

 Kamui Cotan ( 神居古潭石 )

Superior points of Kamui Cotan Seki

Superior points of Kamui Cotan Seki are solid, luster of surface-like resin, and rich in variation.

Let's see them one by one.

First, the hardness of Kamui Cotan Seki is considered around 5.5 in Mohs scale.

Kamui Cotan Seki is basically, metamorphic rock including serpentinite. So, actual hardness is depends on the degree of metamorphism and composition. The hardness of serpentinite is around 3 and serpentine is around 4, however, there is variation.

Serpentinite is a rock composed of one or more serpentine group minerals. Serpentine group minerals are formed by serpentinization, a hydration and metamorphic transformation of ultramafic rock from the Earth's mantle. So, either way, the actual hardness is depends on metamorphism and composition.

As regards luster of surface-like resin, it is derived from serpentine. Serpentine has greasy lustre and resinous lustre and the some kind of special features are derived to Kamui Cotan Seki.

The features are special in Suiseki. Almost all Suiseki have no such kind of luster of surface-like resin.

Finally, regarding rich in variation, there is an eulogistic name as Kamui Cotan Seven Stones. It means that there are seven kinds of Kamui Cotans. But it is an eulogistic name and actually it does not mean seven kinds of minerals. Rather, by the visual, there are more than ten kinds of Kamui Cotans.

There is no meaning to adhere to seven or ten. Either way, being rich in variation is one of superior points of Kamui Cotan Seki.

Quote from "緋山酔恭の山水石美術館" spotted Hon Maguro ( 斑入り本真黒 ):

斑入り本真黒