In front of the entrance of some tea houses or traditional restaurants and on Japanese garden alleys, you may be surprised to see a rock, large enough to be easily noticed, tied carefully with a rope. The rock is carefully selected, usually with a flat bottom and rounded on top, of a dark color, like the one in this photo, taken inside the old samurai neighborhood Nagamachi from Kanazawa.
Called sekimori-ishi (barrier-keeper stone), the rope tied stone has several meanings: that the tea house is occupied and the tea ceremony is underway, or that if you go further up the alley you may intrude. Sometimes, the sekimori-ishi also has a spiritual meaning, marking the entrance to a spiritual space…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: