Suiseki derives from the combination of the Japanese words "Sui" meaning water, and "Seki", meaning stone. Together they form "Water stone" which characterizes where most of these stones are found. Suiseki stones are also referred to by various names, including scholar stones, and viewing stones.
A Brief History
The history of Suiseki stones originates from Ancient China. Originally known as "Scholar Stones" in China due to their appreciation by Chinese scholars, the art was spread to Japan and Korea. Although currently less known in America, the art is quickly gaining ground as more and more individuals see the beauty in the stones.
What makes a stone a Suiseki Stone?
As the name implies, most stones are found in rivers or within the water. These stones are typically desirable due to the process in which nature and water has shaped the stone over time. Any stone can be a Suiseki stone. However, most collectable pieces are chosen because they exhibit unique qualities or shapes. These shapes can range from representing a figure or animal to portraying a landscape such as a mountain and plateau.