I believe like many new to suiseki our eyes are drawn towards doha stones.  Holding a mountain stone in one’s hands it is quite simple to picture this in nature.  Perhaps that is why there are so many mountain stones in suiseki, especially here in the U.S. More difficult to find are good doha stones or perhaps dan-seki stones if you prefer those.

I know in one of the very first collecting trips that I went on, thank you Mas and Janet, I was really focused on trying to find a good doha stone.  So much so that I really didn’t pay much attention to anything else. Certainly we can debate if that is a good approach – that singular focus – but I find it is how I normally operate anyway at work or in my various hobbies.

We still have the first doha stone that I found on that trip to the Eel river. I commissioned Koji Suzuki made a daiza for it.  It sits on a cabinet in one of our rooms. I often look at it and wonder – what was I thinking spending good money on a daiza for this stone!  Ah, the mistakes we make when our eye is not quite up to par on what we should be keeping on a collecting trip. I believe that many of us can attest to a backyard full of stones that at the river we thought had great potential but once home and observed for a few weeks, or months, we realize the stone should be returned to sit with its many brethren riverside.

Today, we would like to share two stones with you. The first is a true doha and the second we find ourselves going back and forth between doha or dan-seki classification.

Doha Suiseki

Doha Suiseki

This stone was acquired for us by Peter Tea (check out his blog), one of the nicest people you will ever meet, when he was traveling to Kofufu earlier this year. In his visit to Tohru Suzuki’s bonsai garden Daiju-en, he found this stone sitting on a shelf.  Peter instinctively knew that we would like it and was kind enough to purchase it and bring it home to us where it now sits on one of our display cabinets.

We really like this stone.  Most doha that we have seen have a very flat plain rising to a hill/mountain on one of the ends of the stone. What struck us about this particular stone was the almost 180 degrees of hills/mountains surrounding the plain.

Before we move on to the next stone, does anyone see the flat area as a large lake with mountains surrounding it?

Doha or Dan-seki stone?

Doha or Dan-seki stone?

We have posted about this stone before. I still go back and forth trying to determine what classification this stone falls into – any help?

We acquired this stone at Kokufu in 2010 from a stone dealer at the Green Club.  We still like to sit and look (stare) at this stone. I go back and forth between this being a large plain to thinking of it as a river with a stone step down as I often see when flyfishing.  Frankly the difficulty in displaying this stone is that it isn’t tall, it is quite long and not very wide.

We are going to commission a stand for this stone so that we display it more properly; it now sits on its kiri-bako. The craftsman Shimuzu (Shimizu, Hirohisa) makes beautiful stands which can be seen here: Japanese Page or English Translation.  His stands are quite beautiful; we just purchased three of them and they will be the subject a future post.

Well we would be most interested in any doha stones in your collection so feel free to email us and we will share them with our readers.

In the next few weeks we will be posting about the following: Small stands for stones and pots (eight of them); an antique Chinese suiban, and about 25 bonsai pots we are going to post for sale if I can ever finish the photo shoot.

Talk soon,

Sam and KJ