STORY.4STORY.4Oya Stone blended in Farmers' Lives

In rural areas, rustic scenery of fields and paddy fields incorporating Oya stone are everywhere. In a community with more than 30 stone warehouses, you can see walls with Oya stone with traces of quarrying and roofs of Oya stone instead of roof tiles. Some of former stonemason’s houses are decorated in their own way, for example, with plum flowers and pine trees carved around the windows of the stone warehouse. At the entrance of those houses, frogs made with stone wait for a safe return of the dwellers. (The frog in Japanese is kaeru, which also means to return home.) In general, Oya stone are used for shrine torii gate, Buddha statues, memorial towers and small shines, but in the rural area of Utsunomiya, it is also used for retaining walls of rice paddy fields, pump houses for farming and fire-extinguishing equipment warehouses. Every time you take a walk in a rural area, you will discover Oya stone in many forms.