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Sado Red Stone

Sado Red Stone ( 佐渡赤石 ), Sado Red Gem Stone ( 佐渡赤玉石 ) in Japan

This is Sado Red Stone, one of the three major stones for ornamental purposes in Japan.

Sado Red Stone ( 佐渡赤石 )

Sado Red Stone ( 佐渡赤石 )

Although various classifications are there, Sado Red Stone is surely included in any classifications by its beauty. The name of Sado Red Stone and Sado Red Gem Stone are as a result of literal translation from Japanese.

In Japanese, the neme is 佐渡赤玉石 or 佐渡赤石 and its meanings are Sado Red Stone and Sado Red Gem Stone.

By the way, Sado (佐渡市 Sado-shi) is a city located on Sado Island (佐渡島 Sado-shima/Sado-ga-shima) in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. In Sado, there were large gold and silver mine on the island. And only stones mined from Red Gem area ( 赤玉地区 ) are considered Sado Red Stones.

Actually, the name of Red Gem area is named because Sado Red Stones are produced in this region. The region is only one river valley. The river is called Nakagawa ( 中川 ) and its headstream is Sugiike ( 杉池 ) which is a mysterious lake.

Sado Red Stone ( 佐渡赤石 )

Color of Sado Red Stone

A remarkable characteristic of Sado Red Stone is its color.

The color feels us something special. From the past, the color, vermilion is addressed as special color and used in shrines and temples since vermilion is considered as the color to ward off evil. By the way, the color also looks like the color of The Red Comet, Char Aznable and it means something special anyway.

Sado Red Stone ( 佐渡赤石 )

Sado Red Stone ( 佐渡赤石 )

Sado Red Stone ( 佐渡赤石 )

What is Sado Red Stone

Sado Red Stone is categorized to Iron quartz.

However, Iron quartz seems to be not official categorize. Although it seems that Iron quartz is kind of category between agate and jasper, the best category seems to be jasper since it is opaque. The color of Sado Red Stone is caused by Iron oxide.

So, anyway, silica and Iron oxide is the contents. The hardness of Sado Red Stone is very hard. By Mohs scale of mineral hardness, it is between 6.5 to 7.

From subjective point of view, the hardness seems to be more harder than usual jasper. So, categorizing Sado Red stone with simple jasper may not be appropriate, therefore, Iron quartz is used for explanation. Some kind of characteristic of Chert seems to be added.

History of Sado Red Stone

Sado Red Stones were used as stone tool in prehistoric Japan. And also Magatama was made from Sado Red Stone.

Magatama (also written with the characters for "curved jewels") have been used for personal adornment in Japan since ancient times.

Later days, from some document, Sado Red Stone was offered to Toyotomi Hideyoshi (豊臣 秀吉, March 17, 1537 ? September 18, 1598) who was a preeminent daimy?, warrior, general, samurai, and politician of the Sengoku period, and Japan's second "great unifier".

Now, Sado Red Stones are used in shrines and temples including Ise Shrine which is the most prominent (of shrines) in Japan and a quite sacred place.

Sado Red Stone ( 佐渡赤石 )