NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

2007/1/9

京石工芸品 Kyoishi-kougeihin Kyoto Stone Carving

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Kyoto stone carving is another example of a refined Kyoto handicraft. Stone lanterns, the main elements in a Japanese garden, and other forms of Kyoto stone carving have been designated as an important traditional Japanese handicraft by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Kyoto stone carving has been deeply influenced by Buddhism and the Japanese tea ceremony. After Buddhism was introduced to Japan, the craft of stone carving broadened. Granite was available near Kyoto at Mt Hieizan and the village of Shirakawa. Blessed with excellent resources, exquisite masonry was produced, such as Buddhist statuary, towers and lanterns.

After the Momoyama period, the tea ceremony influenced stone carving, integrating tranquility, quietness and peace to the art of masonry. If the stonework was beautiful, it was cherished, and replicas would be created to be placed in gardens.

For more than 1000 years, Kyoto stone carving has provided important elements to Kyoto landscapes, as well as to the culture of Kyoto itself. With its aesthetic sense and its exceptional craftsmanship, Kyoto stone carving is still appreciated today.

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