soseki 礎石
KEY WORD : architecture / general terms
Lit. foundation stone. A base stone which receives the dead load of a pillar. The upper side of the base stone was made roughly level. Natural and processed stones both have a mortise *hozoana ほぞ穴 into which a tenon *hozo ほぞ, is inserted that extends from the bottom of the pillar. A tenon sometimes is cut into the base stone to be inserted into a corresponding mortise on the bottom of the pillar. Some base stones have an extension which serves as a sill or a ground plate, jifukuza 地覆座. During the 7-8c a porous limestone called tufa *gyoukaigan 凝灰岩, was used and the developed of stone progressed. From the latter part of the 8c after floored buildings became common, stone processing declined. Many natural base stones were cut from andesite, anzangan 安山岩, a type of volcanic rock and granite, kakougan 花崗岩. A firmly packed bed of golfball-sized stones underlay base stones in the ancient period. The use of natural stones for base stones was common until the premodern age when carefully cut stones were used.
Soseki were often used for stepping stones *tobi-ishi 飛石, in tea gardens *roji 露地, and in some cases made into a water basin *chouzubachi 手水鉢, when an old temple was destroyed or refurbished.
a) *hashira 柱 b) *soban 礎盤 c) soseki 礎石
Nanzenji Sanmon 南禅寺三門 (Kyoto)

Houryuuji Chuumon 法隆寺中門 (Nara)

*shinso 心礎 

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