An inkstone (traditional Chinese: 硯; simplified Chinese: 砚; pinyin: yàn or traditional Chinese: 硯臺; simplified Chinese: 砚台; pinyin: yàn tái; Japanese: 硯 suzuri) is literally a stone mortar for the grinding and containment of ink. Pinyin, more formally Hanyu pinyin, is the most common Standard Mandarin Romanization system in use Pinyin, more formally Hanyu pinyin, is the most common Standard Mandarin Romanization system in use is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities An ink is a Liquid containing various Pigments and/or Dyes used for coloring a surface to produce an Image, text, or Traditional Chinese ink was usually solidified into sticks for easier transport and preservation. Even a small amount of water could be applied to the end of a stick of ink, and that end would be ground with the flat surface of the ink stone. A larger quantity of ink could be ground from a small pool of water placed on the inkstone. Water could be stored in a water-holding cavity on the inkstone itself, as was the case for many Song Dynasty (960-1279) inkstones. The Song Dynasty ( Wade-Giles: Sung Ch'ao was a ruling dynasty in China between 960&ndash1279 CE it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms The water-holding cavity or water reservoir in time became an ink reservoir for later inkstones. Water was usually kept in a ceramic container and sprinkled on the inkstone.
The inkstone, together with the ink brush, ink (stick) and paper, are the four writing implements traditionally known as the Four Treasures of the Study. Ink brushes ( in Japanese fude) are used in Chinese calligraphy. An ink is a Liquid containing various Pigments and/or Dyes used for coloring a surface to produce an Image, text, or Paper is thin material mainly used for writing upon printing upon or packaging Four Treasures of the Study (Traditional Chinese 文房四寶 Simplified Chinese 文房四宝 wén fáng sì bǎo, Japanese 文房四宝 Bunbō shihō) is an expression
The inkstone is Chinese in origin and is used in East Asian calligraphy and painting, and other forms of brush painting. The art of Calligraphy is widely practiced and revered in the East Asian Civilizations that use or used Chinese characters. The art of brush painting using brush and ink is of Chinese origin but has developed extensively throughout the region Extant inkstones date from antiquity in China. However, the true age of inkstones began in the Tang Dynasty (618-905) and reached its height in the Song period. The Tang Dynasty ( Middle Chinese: dhɑng (June 18 618&ndashJune 4 907 was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by Extant Song period inkstones can be of great size and often display a delicacy of carving. Song inkstones can also exhibit a roughness in their finishing. Dragon designs in the Song period often reveal an almost humorous rendition. The dragons often seem to smile. From the subsequent Yuan period dragons display a ferocious appearance. A second great age of inkstone manufacture was during the reign of the Emperor Qianlong (Ch'ien-lung) (1736-1796). Emperor Qianlong (Chinese 乾隆 Qiánlóng, Wade-Giles' Ch'ien-Lung', Mongolian Tengeriig Tetgesen Khaan, born Hongli (弘历 September The Emperor Qianlong had his own imperial collection of inkstones catalogued into a twenty-four chapter compendium entitled Xiqing yanpu (Hsi-ch'ing yen-p'u). Many of these inkstones are still extant in the Palace Museum collection in Taiwan. The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial Palace from the mid- Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. Books and scholarship on Chinese inkstones exists chiefly in Japan where a long bibliography on the subject exists. Inkstones should be appreciated in the context of the traditional scholar's studio culture and the appreciation of furnishings, antiques, paper, seals and all other associated objects. Members of the Chinese literati, such as the Song period's Ouyang Xiu, contributed greatly to this new culture. Early life He was born in Mingyang, Sichuan where his father was a judge though his family comes from present day Jishui (then known as Luling
For serious calligraphers and painters, a good inkstone is as important as the quality of the ink. An inkstone will affect the quality and texture of the ink that is ground upon it. Four kinds of inkstones are especially noted in inkstone art history and are popularly known as the "Four Famous Inkstones. "