Suikinkutsu in our Japanese garden is highly noted for its beautiful sound, which is very similar to the sound of Koto (Japanese traditional stringed musical instrument). It consists of an empty earthenware jar buried in the well underneath tsukubai (stone basin). When water is poured over the well, water drips through the hole at the top onto a small pool of water inside the jar and makes a pleasant and mysterious Koto-like sound.
Suikinkutsu is said to be the idea developed by Japanese gardeners in the Edo period (1603-1867), and the elegance of the wabi-sabi aesthetic created through the sound of suikinkutsu is still very much appreciated in this day and age. Suikinkutsu was in fashion during the Meiji period (1868-1912) and the Taisho period (1912-1926); yet, in recent years, its popularity has been quietly brought back.
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