Reframe Japan, Wabi-Sabi

history and types of Toki-ishis

Toki-ishi Society

As regards Toki-ishi, it is difficult to find out detailed information. The reason is because Toki-ishi society is aging. Actually, in Japan, from the 1960s to the 1970s, a boom in Suiseki and an ornamental stones had peaked. In the time period, many Toki-ishi societies are made. Since then, about 50 to 60 years has passed. So, members of societies are aging and therefore, detailed information cannot be found in internet.

By the way, during the mid-1960s and mid-1970s, automobile, air conditioner, and color television are called as Three Sacred Treasures and they spread among the public in Japan. From around the 1960's, it became gorgeous as the economy grew rapidly and civil society went into the trend toward materialism in that period. From my perspective, watching stones is something like spiritual. So, it is interesting that materialism and spiritual existed together in that timing.

Going back to the subject, because of the aging, it is difficult to find out information about Toki-ishi on internet, however, there were several Japanese books which were made by Toki-ishi society. I would like to introduce some information on Toki-ishi from the book as follows:

Types of Toki-ishis

The followings are Toki-ishi:

#1: Woody Jasper: Jasper originated from wood. Mined from Toki sand gravel layer and carried along by Toki river and Shonai river. Various colors are observed, but green or blue one is the most popular. Further, if green background and red and yellow are included, it is called as five color jasper ( 五色碧 ) and the most precious.

#2: Monseki ( 紋石 ): It is difficult to explain Monseki ( 紋石 ). It looks like jasper but complicated patterns are observed but not so clear and bright as jasper. It may be chert. Since detailed information on the Monseki ( 紋石 ) is not available. I would like to study more in the future.

The following is quote from緋山酔恭の山水石美術館 as a picture of Monseki ( 紋石 ):

 Monseki ( 紋石 )

#3: Tsubo-ishi ( 壺石 ): Small stones are attached to shell of limonite and the inside is filled with clay. By removing one small stone and raking out clay, then it will be like pot. The meaning of Tsubo-ishi is Pot-stone if translating literally.

The following is quote from 緋山酔恭の山水石美術館 as a picture of Tsubo-ishi ( 壺石 ):

 Tsubo-ishi ( 壺石 )

#4: Petrified wood: Not colorful one as jasper.

#5: Chert but colorful one: By the inclusion of silica, it looks like jasper. Red one is called as Niku-ishi which means Meat stone since bright red color and white silica looks like meat. It is also called as Kaminari-ishi ( Thunder stone ) since white silica looks like lightning.

In a narrow sense, only #1 is called as Toki-ishi, however, in a broad sense, all #1 to #5 are called as Toki-ishi.