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Stepping stones, Fumi-ishi (踏み石) in Japanese, have a very intriguing psychological background. Opposite from regular garden paths, walking on stepping stones asks more concentration of visitors. This influences the way in which they experience the garden and their surroundings in general. Additionally, when walking over stepping stones visitors cannot walk side by side, eliminating a form of distraction. When walking in a tea garden, this also makes sure that people do not arrive at the exact same time at the tea house before the start of the tea ceremony.
Stepping stone paths were introduced by tea master Sen no Rikyū (千利休), a very famous historical figure. The original idea behind the stepping stones was to keep the Zōri, Japanese sandals, clean and dry when walking through the garden. The perfect height of a stepping stone has always been a historical point of discussion. Sen no Rikyū preferred a high of 6 centimeters, while other tea master such as Furuta Oribe and Kobori Enshū preferred 5 centimeters and 3 centimeters respectively.
Kutsunugi-ishi (沓脱石) are wide Japanese stepping stones used to step up from the garden onto a veranda for example. In ancient Japan, they were primarily placed in tea gardens so visitors could enter the tea house from the garden. Before entering Japanese buildings, especially traditional tea houses, it is an important custom to remove ones shoes. This can be done while standing on the Kutsunugi-ishi, which forms the origin of the name. Loosely translated Kutsunugi-ishi means: Rock on which shoes are taken off.
• Origin: Nagoya, Aichi prefecture
• Material: Yase Makkuro stone (八瀬真黒石)
EUR: 750.00 ≈ EUR: 750.00