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Tosei Shinabe
Za kekkai stone


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In the quietness of the dawn at one of Kyoto’s oldest Zen temples, Buddhist Zen monk Tosei Shinabe sits in deep meditation, practising ‘zazen’ (‘za’ 坐, Japanese for seated and ‘zen’ 禅 for meditation). His journey takes him to the mystical Awaji Island, the ‘land of birth’ in Japanese mythology, where he selects stones imbued with the earth’s raw beauty. Wrapped in Seima rope made from the finest Japanese hemp, his ‘za kekkai’ stones serve as a silent testament, a Dharma tool, to the boundary between two spiritual realms, a line as delicate as it is profound.


Often used in Japanese temples and tea houses, ‘kekkai’ stones are crafted with intention. They are not merely objects but keepers of spiritual wisdom, echoing the Zen philosophy that ‘heaven, earth and I all share the same origin, and are therefore one’. In Japan, this has led to a spirit of respect for nature and a desire to live in harmony with it since ancient times. The tactile roughness of the stone and the smooth strength of the hemp invite one to ponder the interconnectedness of our existence with nature.

As you hold a ‘za kekkai’ stone, allow it to be a marker of your own journey, a reminder of the serene balance between the seen and unseen. In the creation and reverence of these stones, we find a bridge to our primordial desire to live in harmony with the cosmos. It is an invitation to nurture a bond with the natural world that is both ancient and ever-new.

Crafted in three distinct sizes – small, medium and large – each variant of the ‘za kekkai’ stones carries its own significance, echoing the depths of a private bond. The small stones nestle perfectly in the palm, their size lending an intimate touch that seems to forge a direct connection to Tosei’s meditative prayers. Medium stones, with their more substantial presence, transcend mere intimacy, suggesting a broader and shared connection. The large stones stand as sentinels, their commanding presence both a visual and spiritual anchor, inviting reverence and reflection.

Weight approx. 250 gr - 450 gr

Height approx. 2.5 cm - 4 cm, width approx. 3.5 cm – 5.5 cm, depth approx. 6.5 cm - 10 cm

The stone comes from Awaji Island in southwestern Japan, renowned in Japanese mythology as the ‘land of birth’.

The Seima rope around it is made from the very rare and finest quality Japanese hemp, which is used to make shime-nawa, the sacred ropes used in Shinto rituals at the famous Ise Shrine. Only few places can cultivate hemp, which is otherwise forbidden in Japan.

Each stone is delicately wrapped in washi paper, a traditional Japanese paper crafted from the elongated inner fibres of three plants: kozo, mitsumata and gampi. It is presented in a wooden box bearing the artisan’s signature mark. The box itself is made of Paulownia wood, known in East Asia as the ‘empress tree’ and valued for its lightweight but strong properties.

Dust the ‘za kekkai’ with a slightly damp cloth regularly. To avoid any changes in the hemp rope, avoid using any detergents. 

Every object is meticulously packaged to ensure its safe delivery. Since this piece is made with natural materials, please note that variations in colour nuances, shape or other features reflect the diversity within nature, making every piece unique.