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

Juniper, Andrew. 2003.

Wabi Sabi, The Japanese Art of Impermanence.

Tuttle Publishing, Tokyo, Rutland, Vermont and Singapore. ISBN: 978-0-8048-3482-7. 165 pages. $12.95

Most stone enthusiasts have heard of the Japanese aesthetic terms wabi and sabi, but, few people can adequately or accurately define what they mean. Some people use these words freely when they speak about stones or bonsai, and even add additional words like yugen and shibui without understanding their meaning or use. Understanding and using Japanese aesthetics terms is difficult as they are deliberately vague and their meanings have changed over time. This book will aid readers in understanding two commonly used terms—wabi and sabi. They were adopted for use in stone appreciation practices from their original use in other more major art forms.

Andrew Juniper begins his book with discussion of the development of the terms and their role in Zen and the formal tea ceremony. He then delves into the adoption of wabi and sabi in the Japanese culture, and their sharp contrast with aspects of modern Japanese architecture. The third major section of this book examines the role of these terms in garden design, tea gardens, poetry, ceramics, and flower arranging. This section may be the most useful to readers in conveying the meaning and role of wabi and sabi. The final section of this book focuses on the design principles of wabi and sabi and the materials that best express the feeling of these aesthetic concepts.

The concise and clearly written text helps distinguish this book from other volumes on the subject of Japanese aesthetics. It is an inexpensive paperback [one word] volume that is a great investment for those wishing to learn more about the Japanese sense of beauty.

Rating: Excellent, a good introduction to a difficult topic.



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