October 14, 2021: Visit to the exhibition of the Slovak Suiseki Association

   I visited the exhibition of the Slovak Suiseki Association, which took place in Komárno, a town about 100 km downstream of the Danube River.
   Suiseki is the art of arranging natural stones on a pedestal. They can often be found right on the banks of rivers. You need to use your imagination to find an image of a landscape, a character or even an event in them and appreciate its beauty. I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't really know what suiseki was. However, when I visited the bonsai exhibition in Levoča in September, I met Mr. Vladimír Kamocsai, President of the Slovak Suiseki Association, who informed me about the exhibition in Komárno. I visited such an exhibition for the first time. By the way, the President speaks fluent Japanese. He seems to have learned it all by himself and I remember being very surprised by that on our first meeting.
   I was pleased to see the exhibited suiseki with members of the association, including President Kamocsai, who introduced me each of the exhibits. It was very interesting. I learned that in order to find suiseki in nature, you must take a number of collecting trips not only in Slovakia, but also in the Czech Republic and Hungary. It seems that it takes a lot of patience to hit a stone with a "it's him" tag that has the right shape and color. It is equally difficult to subsequently produce a pedestal on which the stones found are placed. It is not uncommon for this to take 2 or 3 months. The pedestals are handmade originals that must fully match the amorphous natural stone. I was impressed when the president's wife laughed, "I'm home alone forever, guarding our house."
   At first glance, I felt that limestone, especially limestone of unusual colors such as green and ultramarine, is valued the most. Due to weathering and the action of water, a unique shape or pattern can be found in the case of this stone. Among the members of the association is a geologist who is looking for suiseki in addition to his daily work in the field and can professionally analyze the stones found. Each member seems to have his / her own way of enjoying the art of suiseki.
   I was surprised how many Slovaks are engaged in activities related to Japanese culture, such as bonsai, suiseki, go or shogi. I think there are more foreigners who are deeply interested in Japanese culture than we Japanese think. Therefore, I would like to continue to deepen relations with members of individual interest organizations or associations.
The work of V. Kamocsai, President of SAS Suiseki entitled "Clouds"  
With members of the Slovak Suiseki
With Vladimir Kamocsai, Chairman
SAS, who gave me a nice present