The History of Suiseki
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Ten Views of a Rock
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The Daiza
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History of Viewing Stones | Japanese History | Chinese History | Korean History

Korean appreciation for Suseok, began around 100 BC - 1300 AD, when these stones were first introduced from China with Taoism. The preferred styles were upright stones that contained perforations and grooves on their surface, and preference continued during the middle period of Korean history from 1300-1950.

As in Japan, Korean cultural changes during this time caused collectors to turn toward more "subdued" specimens. Suseok collecting increased after the Korean war (1950-1953), but the recent closing of many prime collecting areas has seen a decrease in the number of collectors.

Unlike the Japanese stones that are sometimes cut or altered, Koreans do not allow any alteration to their Suseok, preferring to retain the purity of their stones. Rather than cutting uneven stones for a flat bottom, these stones are displayed in deep suiban (ceramic containers filled with sand or water) or a more deeply carved daezwa or zwadae (carved wood display stands) to hide more of the stone. These Korean stands are unique and compliment the stone with their phenomenal flowing lines that merge into the feet of the stand, making Korean Suseok a beautiful and distinct form of this art of stone appreciation.

Following is a list of some collecting sites in Korea that are especially well-known or famous with suseok collectors.

- Kyunghokaang. This river comes from a small stream that brings stones from Zirisan, a mountain famous for its suseok.

- Namhankaang. The Namhan river is the most important and famous collecting site in Korea. All shapes of stones can be found there. Many have good texture, and it is possible to find many shapes in a single stone. Most notable are stones with depressions, furrows, tunnels, arches and peaks.

- Seasides. Korean coastlines have many places where collecting suseok is possible. The southeastern coast of the Korean Peninsula is the most popular.

- Taewhakang. The Taewha river is notable for its green-colored stones.

- Yungkaang. The Yung river is another famous site.

- Zirisan. Ziri Mountain. A mountain famous for its suseok.

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