I want to leave this miracle stone to the future generation.


Matsushita Stonemason Co.,Ltd. Matsushita Naohira, Managing Director

Since its founding in 1872, Matushita Stonemason has been working with Tatsuyama Ishi for over 140 years. Quarrying used to be the main industry of Takasago City. However, with the passage of time, there are only 3 working quarries in Takasago. Mr. Matsushita, Managing Director has told us his wish for passing on the Tatsuyama Ishi and its 1700 years history in its best form to the next generation.

  • Ishino Houden seen through a stonemason’s eyes.

    Even with today’s technology, cutting off a stone of that size would be extremely difficult. One can hardly imagine the effort and time it took with the tools and technology of that time. It must have been the grand project on which the stonemasons of the time staked their pride. Though some hypothesis says it is unfinished, I find it truly inspiring when thinking about the leadership of the head stonemason who led many craftsmen, and the insight of the stonemason who discovered a gap in the stone and recognized that starting from this gap would make the later transportation much easier.

  • Miracle stone that continues to be chosen since ancient time.

    Since the Kofun period, Tatsuyama Ishi was called the “Stone of the Kings” and used mostly for stone coffins of powerful figures. It was used throughout wide area, from Shiga Prefecture on the east to Yamaguchi Prefecture on the west. They say that they carried stone quarried here in Takasago to such distant locations. This proves what a great esteem this stone was held in back then. In Kamakura period, Tatsuyama Ishi was used to make stone Buddha, and they spread through Kyoto and Nara.

  • Dialogue with Stone

    Today, we use many types of machine. But back then, they quarried stone from mountain manually. Master stonemason can understand the wishes of stone. A stone would tell them: “I want to be cut out on this point, and in this way”. We always try to listen to the stones and fulfill their wishes when processing them. It has been used for building foundation and stone wall for a long time, and it has always been close to human lives. That’s why it makes me very happy when I see Tatsuyama Ishi in town.

  • Future of Tatsuyama Ishi

    There are only 3 working quarries for Tatsuyama Ishi, including this one. I strongly believe that we cannot end its 1700 years history and tradition. At the moment, I am exploring different possibilities for Tatsuyama Ishi in collaboration with the local community. Just the other day, the students from local high school’s earth science club commercially developed wall material using powder produced from crashing stone, utilizing the high absorbency of Tatsuyama Ishi! Even though it may change its form, it’s important to pass it on. And explore the possibilities that fit the needs of today. I would like to continue the history of Tatsuyama Ishi to the future in this way.