VSANA Library of Stone Appreciation Books

Book reviews in the VSANA Library of Stone Appreciation are intended to give readers an indication of the wide range of books available, primarily on Asian stone appreciation, but also on Western stones. Additional reviews are added to this site each month. They are presented in the country where they are produced. Unfortunately, some of the books are out of print and difficult to obtain.

The VSANA Library currently consists of three parts—the Featured Book Review of the Month, the VSANA Library, and Buy Books.

• Feature Book Review features monthly one of the more important books published in field of stone


• VSANA library contains over 150 reviews in nine languages. The reviews are intended to give readers

     an indication of the wide range of books available on stone appreciation published globally.

Buy Books is a new feature to guide our readers who may wish to purchase a book from reliable sources.

Featured Book Review

Katayama, T. 1971.

Appreciation of Suiseki (Suiseki-no-Kansho).

Juseki-sha. Tokyo. 177 pp. No ISBN numbers.  2800 Yen when published.

Katayama Teiichi was one of the most influential leaders in modern Japanese Suiseki. He was advocating a return to more traditional values and methods of display during the peak of Suiseki popularity in Japan. He established a school, Ichiu-kai, in 1967 to teach his methods of display. The Appreciation of Suiseki published in 1971 was the first of several books his wrote. In this volume, Katayama wrote about his views and included color and black and white illustrations showing how to make a traditional displays and how to use various accessories in those displays.

He was an effective writer and a persuasive communicator whose message resonated with the thousands of hobbyists collecting and displaying Suiseki. He had many students who continued to advocate his methods of display even to the present. For example, Katayama had a preference for ceramic and metal trays (suibans and dobans) over wood bases. He also preferred to use traditional tokonoma for display. In many ways, this book helped to bring the art of Suiseki back to traditional values at a time when people were experimenting with new ways of display.

This is a seminal book in the history of Japanese Suiseki and a valuable reference for anyone interested in the history of the development of modern stone appreciation in Japan. It consists primarily of text with limited illustrations; thus a reading knowledge of Japanese is needed to fully comprehend Katayama’s beliefs regarding traditional display techniques.

Rating: Excellent, a valuable reference to gain insight into Katayama’s methods of stone appreciation.

Copyright  2018 VSANA, Viewing Stone Association of North America. All rights reserved.        |   Terms of Use    |   Contact us   |