On February 9th, 2014, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum opened its doors to an historic event – the Japan Suiseki Exhibition. Produced by the Nippon Suiseki Association, the event featured some of Japan’s best-known viewing stones and accessories. Highlights included suiseki that had rarely left their homes in temples or private collections such as Kurokamiyama or “Black Hair Mountain.” This spectacular stone was displayed with its case – which doubles as a daiza – and handscrolls completed in 1812 that describe its origins. (For great photos of Kurokamiyama, the handscrolls and all of the other stones on display, find a copy of the Exhibit book. If you know where it can be purchased, feel free to post links in the comments.)
Recently under the leadership of Chairman Kunio Kobayashi and Chief Administrator Seiji Morimae, the reinvigorated Association is enjoying the success of the exhibit and is looking forward to future events. Helping coordinate this year’s exhibit – and providing English translations for the book – is suiseki aficionado Wil from Japan. On the afternoon I visited, Wil shared some of his favorite entries and described the excitement within the organization and broader community about the event. It was a great orientation to a super event – for this, thank you Wil!
In all, the exhibit featured 4 Special Entries, 28 Tokonoma Displays, 137 General Exhibits, and 15 Suiseki Accessories including suiban, doban, and display stands. Here are some of the stones on display.
Batei ishi – “Dragon Gate”
Aka tanba ishi – the calligraphy reads, “Clouds free from obstructive thoughts”
Yase sudachi maguro ishi – “Wormwood Patch” – night-scene scroll by Yamaguchi Houshun
Furuya ishi – “Hazy Passage of the Immortals”
Hakkaizan seki – “Moon Crossing Ravine”
Visitors appreciating the General Exhibits
Neo kikka seki
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