I’ve been told that a good tokonoma display creates an setting through which the viewer can be transported to a specific place in time. The objects being displayed must work together to create a unified theme centered around a specific season.
Two of my favorite elements of summer, water and dragonflies, encapsulate the mix of activity and rest, stillness and movement experienced during the summer. From the small pond in my parents backyard that was visited each summer by a fiery red dragonfly, to the matchstick thin damselflies that inhabit the stream I take my own son too; the dragonfly symbolizes summer almost as much as its aquatic habitat.
With that said it should be no surprise that I really liked this display. The main object in a very large (6 x 29.5 x 16.75), and may I add heavy, puddle stone (mitsumari-ishi) collected from the Saji river in Japan and donated by Teichii Katayama.
I have seen puddle stones displayed both with and without water. When they contain water they are almost always placed in a suiban with sand rather than in a wooden daiza. Some also like to not only fill the reservoirs with water but wet the entire stone. As the water dries the color of the stone changes and I think this helps bring some life to an other wise inanimate object.
Side view showing several puddles.
What do you see, a mountain lake or a natural bird bath?
The signature on the scroll reads Shoshen. I was unable to find any information about the artist and would welcome it if you know something about him.
Thanks for reading. I’m looking forward to my favorite season and a new Autumn display.