For those of us who love suiseki, or viewing stones your choice of words, you know the difficulty in America of finding high quality books. We have posted several in the last few months and we want to recommend a book to you today that if you are serious about this art form then it must be in your collection.
The Nyogakuan Collection of Japanese Viewing Stones by Sen-En-Kyo. This is the first volume by Sen-En-Kyo and was published on February 1, 2005. It was Edited by Kin-ichi Yoshimura; translated by Emi Suzuki; produced by BeeBooks; and, published by Mitsumura Printing Company.
This is a hardbound book of 200 pages. Written in Japanese and English with superbly photographed stones.
This book retails for 18,000 Yen which today is $218. However, my friend David Sampson has four slightly used copies of this limited edition book available for $170 including air shipment. This is an excellent value as our copy we purchased from Japan with shipping was above $250 U.S. As David only has four copies, we can’t recommend enough that you order a copy today.
This book is getting more difficult to find, if even possible. The only other copy I have seen available is listed for $250 plus $48.70 shipping for a total of $298.70. So I think you can see the value of picking up this book from David. I have purchased many items from David including books, stones, suibans, and dobans. His communication is timely, his packing superb and each transaction has been without issue. We highly recommend him.
The book contains the following information:
- Explanatory Notes
- Synopsis of Terms
- Outline of Kamogawa River Stones
- Outline of Setagawa Stones
- Outline of Kamuikotan Stones
- Outline of Akadama Stones
- Outline of Sajigawa Stones
- Outline of Iyo Blue Stones
- Outline of Yoroi Stones
- Display for Four Seasons
- The Masters that Support Suiseki
- Japanese Basins
- Chinese Basins
- Japanese Tables
- Chinese Tables
- Tea Ceremony and Suiseki
There are some very famous stones in this book with each River having sufficient representation that one can begin to see a visual pattern in the types of stones that can be found in this Japanese Rivers. Each stone has a two page treatment. The left page contains a very well photographed full page photo of the stone with dimensions. The second right-hand page contains the stone type, stone title and a description on the history of the stone, if known, as well as additional textual information about the stone.
The are two sections on beautiful stands used for suiseki. The Japanese section has stands by Shirai Junzan, Katsuragi Kozan, Kaneko Kazuhiko, and Ogawa Yuzan. These are some of the most well known stand makers and their craftsmanship is incredible.
Also there are a five examples of dobans by Harada Houn. If you have never seen these it is hard to appreciate the beauty of these dobans. We are fortunate enough to own one very small one. So the next best thing is this book where they are well photographed.
Also shown are a number of high quality suibans from Japan and China. In the left page above this rectangular-shaped celadon ware basin is by Kimata Hisao. The right most oval-shaped celadon ware basin is by Kimata Hisao with the inscription Juetsu.
There are two volumes in this series this being the first. We can not recommend this book highly enough to those interested in wanting an educational and very enjoyable book on suiseki.