Since a child, I have loved to read books.  Many times my parents would walk into my room in the middle of the night and tell me to turn off the flashlight and put the book away and get to sleep.  Some books were just too good to put down, and so is the new book by Thomas Elias and Hiromi Nakaoji.  Their just published book Chrysanthemum Stones The Story of Stone Flowers is an excellent read as well as loaded with photos of some of the most beautiful stones I have ever seen.

All photographs and text (c) 2010 by Thomas S. Elias & Hiromi Nakaoji

All photographs and text (c) 2010 by Thomas S. Elias & Hiromi Nakaoji

Back Cover -  (c) 2010 by Thomas S. Elias & Hiromi Nakaoji

Back Cover - (c) 2010 by Thomas S. Elias & Hiromi Nakaoji

The book provides an excellent treatise on chrysanthemum as well as display.  The book is broken down into 6 chapters:

  • Introduction
  • Chinese Chrysanthemum Stones
  • Japanese Chrysanthemum Stones
  • American Chrysanthemum Stones
  • Other Chrysanthemum Flower-like Stones
  • Connoisseurship and Display

For us the success of a book is do I walk away with a better understanding of the subject matter after having read the book.  This book passes our success test with flying colors. Topics range from the history, categorization, and the heart of the stones to many examples of natural, polished and yes even fake ones.  This later topic was of important value to us as we often wondered how so many eBay customers could be selling chrysanthemum stones at discount prices – now we know!

Hagoromo -  (c) 2010 by Thomas S. Elias & Hiromi Nakaoji

Hagoromo - (c) 2010 by Thomas S. Elias & Hiromi Nakaoji

When we first saw this stone we have to admit we were speechless.  To find a stone in this shape is a once in a lifetime occurrence but then for this stone to be a chrysanthemum stone is astounding.  I have included the entire page so you can read a bit of history of this stone.

We have many suiseki books in our library but unfortunately most of them are in Japanese which of course I can’t read. KJ is Japanese but she claims she can’t read it either – but I have doubts as I think she just doesn’t want to translate for me! We are delighted to finally have a book in our library that we can easily read and learn from.  Looking at photos are wonderful but to have deep insights into these stones is much more gratifying.

I hope this page alone tempts you to purchase this fine book, so let’s take a look at our last page post for today.

Neo Valley Stones -  (c) 2010 by Thomas S. Elias & Hiromi Nakaoji

Neo Valley Stones - (c) 2010 by Thomas S. Elias & Hiromi Nakaoji

Page 61 provides three photographs of natural stones from the Neo Valley; more in the book about this location where many fine chrysanthemum stones have been found.  We love the beauty of these stones.  We have to admit when we were first introduced to these stones years ago, we were drawn like many to those that had been polished.  Now that our eyes are beginning to really see the stones we find and collect, our eyes are drawn more to these beautifully natural stones.  All three of these fine stones would be an incredible addition to anyone’s collection.

We are very pleased that Thomas and Hiromi also included a chapter on display.  They provide photographs and instruction on the use of diazas, suibans and stands.

Let us end today with an acknowledgment of thanks to Thomas and Hiromi for not only their dedication and time in authoring and publishing this book but for their obvious love and appreciation of this art form which they have so graciously shared with all of us.

We strongly recommend you order a copy of this book today.  You can do so by contacting them directly via the information below.

Thomas S. Elias and Hiromi Nakaoji can be contacted via email at tselias at msn.com.

The Book is Chrysanthemum Stones The Story of Stone Flowers, 2010, Published by Floating World Editions, ISBN: 978-1-891640-549-9.  The book is priced at a very reasonable $29 plus shipping.

We want to thank Thomas for giving us permission to post this article and his graciousness in allowing us to add these 4 images from their book.  So please respect their copyright and do not download and save these images.  We hope to have an in-depth interview with them both in the near future.  Enjoy the weekend.