“Goshiki numa ” (五式沼 Five color pond) – 2007; W 5″ x D 4″ x H 3 1/2″; stone and black walnut
One day on the way home from a Klamath River stone-collecting trip we stopped near Eureka to poke around in a rock shop. Out in the yard they had a bin of these rocks for sale by the pound. They aren’t typical suiseki – being rather colorful and decorative – but they were so interesting and also inexpensive. We spent quite a bit of time searching through the pile and selected a few to bring home. The bright colors in this one calmed down after a few months outdoors, so Mas made a simple base and we brought it inside to enjoy.
Last October we visited Yamagata, Japan. We had never thought to go there – it’s not a major tourist destination – but when we mentioned to our friend Hideko Metaxas that we were going to Tōhoku (the northern part of the main island) she insisted that we visit her sister’s family in her home town of Yamagata. As everyone knows, it is often exciting to get off of the major tourist route, and this trip turned out to be no exception. The visit to Yamagata was one of of the highlights of our Japan trip, and we are so grateful to Hideko-san and the Iwata family for making these arrangements.
The Iwata family’s hospitality is a memory we will cherish. During our two days they took us sightseeing all around the area. Spending the night at their house was like being at a first-class ryokan. The sight-seeing tour included the Yamagata castle with its 400 year old cherry trees, the ancient Mountain Temple (Yamadera), the 350-year old Maple Garden and Tea House a short walk from their house, and the impressive Mount Zao, which is one of Japan’s most active volcanoes.
Okama, the crater lake near the top of Mt. Zao, is also known as the Five Color Pond (Goshiki numa 五色沼) because of the way it changes color from day to day. When we returned home Mas noticed how our colorful little rock-shop stone evokes this image. Whenever we look at this suiseki we remember our wonderful visit to Yamagata and our deep appreciation to the Iwata family.
Autumn in Yamagata
click to view gallery
Suiseki display – Goshiki Numa
click to view gallery
Beautiful stone, and a wonderful entry-I enjoyed the pictures and history of the castle. Thanks for posting your trip to Japan and sharing it with us.
ps-I also loved the more ornate stand for the stone
“42” (to also quote Douglas Adams).
What a wonderful story; it brightened my Friday at work.
It continues to amaze me how personal growth and new experience enhances our connection to life, the universe and everything (to cite a Douglas Adam’s book). I’ll bet the stone also changes color based on the light in and out of the house.
Thanks for the trip to Japan and lesson in stone appreciation.