|KEY WORD : architecture / general terms|
| Lit. root stone.
1 Also soko-ishi 底石 (base stone), chizen-ishi 地全石, dodai-ishi 土台石 (foundation stone). A foundation stone placed on the earth or on wooden supports when constructing a dry stone wall *ishigaki 石垣. Ne-ishi are considered the most important stones in the wall. Each ne-ishi is generally a large unworked stone 1.5 or 2 times the size of the stones that are going to rest on top of it.
2 Also called *soseki 礎石, *kutsu-ishi 沓石. Plinth stone. A base stone which is set under a pillar. When used under the pillars of a temple, the stone is called *garan-ishi 伽藍石. When used under posts of a tea house *chashitsu 茶室, the stone is called *soban 礎盤. Ne-ishi are 20-30cm in diameter and slightly flat on top. Sometimes the underside of a pillar is carved to match the unevenness of the top of the stone. When the height of the pillar is predecided, it is placed on a temporary stand. The base stone is set on the foundation first and then the pillar is erected upon it. Base stones are made of granite or andesite; rock found around the areas at Kifune 貴船, Kamogawa 鴨川, Takano 高野, Kurama 鞍馬, and Tsukuba 筑波 are favored.
3 Stones placed as a base under stepping stones in a garden. Smaller stones, called tsume-ishi 詰石, are used to fill in the gaps. Ne-ishi garden stones are the lowest stones set in the ground. Stones placed immediately on top of them are called dou-ishi 胴石 and the topmost stones are called ten-ishi 天石.
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