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houraiseki@ –H—‰Î
KEY WORD :@architecture / gardens
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Lit. Penglai stone. A garden stone representing Mt. Penglai *Houraisan –H—‰ŽR, the island-mountain of immortals. The houraiseki is usually the key element in *hourai teien –H—‰’뉀, in which Penglai is the central theme. However, most Japanese gardens utilize a hourai stone somewhere in their composition and thus can be considered hourai style gardens *hourai youshiki –H—‰—lŽ®. Houraiseki are frequently placed on a central island nakajima ’†“‡ or@Penglai rock island *hourai gantou –H—‰Šâ“‡, in a garden pond or on an artificial hill *tsukiyama ’zŽR, but they also may be placed so as to rise out of dry streams *karenagare ŒÍ—¬‚ê of dry landscape *karesansui ŒÍŽR… gardens. When Mt. Penglai is represented by a stone emerging from a pond, the houraiseki is called houraitou –H—‰“‡ or Penglai islandB The houraiseki may be part of a group of stones; for example, it may be used as the wing rock hane-ishi ‰HÎ, in crane island *tsurujima ’ß“‡, compositions, the chuusonseki ’†‘¸Î of the *sanzon iwagumi ŽO‘¸Î‘g, or it may double as a distant mountain stone enzanseki ‰“ŽRÎ. Houraiseki is not mentioned in the 11c *SAKUTEIKI ì’ë‹L, but it is generally thought that such stones were placed in Heian period gardens as Japanese had been interested in Mt. Penglai since the 7c. The Penglai stone is mentioned in Muromachi period texts such as Sansui narabini nogata-no-zu ŽR…›ó–ìŒ`} where it is called the Never-Ageing-Stone furouseki •s˜VÎ; Of the many Muromachi and early Edo period‚“ houraiseki most have a distinctly aged appearance and are pyramidal in shape, suggesting Mt. Penglai as it is often depicted in painting.
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