Stones in Japan are used for bridges, water containers, lanterns, and many other purposes. They are especially used as steps on paths.
In an echo of Japan’s animistic native beliefs, stones are chosen for the spirit they emanate. They form a link between people and the earth. Stones that are scored or pitted or covered with moss evoke the spirit of wabi-sabi — of harmonious simplicity and impermanence (more on this in a subsequent post).
This image of petal-covered stepping stone as Shokokuji, a Rinzai Zen temple in Kyoto, comes from EYLC’s photostream.