Image of Ōya Ishi Mobile

Ōya Ishi Mobile


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Ōya Ishi 大谷石: a memento from an Olympics which nearly never was.

These unusual mobiles are carved by artisans from rare Ōya-ishi stone, the material of choice for VIP sections of Kengo Kuma’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic stadium.

The stone all comes from Ōya, a small town carved into the rockface, in the Tochigi region of Japan.

This coveted material has been a favourite of architects for decades: Kenzo Tange, Togo Murano, Tadao Ando, Kazuo Shinohara and Kisho Kurokawa all incorporated Ōya Ishi into their buildings. The Shimono Kokubunji Temple and Utsunomiya Castle both feature the stone.

Modernist architect Frank Lloyd Wright also took an immediate liking to Ōya Ishi and used it extensively for Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel- the facades, the lobby, interior motifs and even decoration- and again later in his Jiyu Gakuen Myonichikan School.

No wonder that Frank Lloyd Wright fell in love with the stuff: each piece has a rich texture of grey stone, radiant green minerals and tufts of ‘miso’- darker volcanic ash- a unique expression of the rockface. Ōya Ishi is a natural source of Zeolite minerals, believed to purify the air and create a calming atmosphere. Over time these minerals seep out of the rock, leaving interesting pockmarks and cavities.

This decorative mobile is made from polished stone and comes gift boxed. The metal will age and patina over time to the principles of wabi-sabi. For the designers, the mobile is symbolic as a reminder: no two things in the world are the same, and everything in life has a different weight.

Measures approx. 12cm tall.

Presented in a gift box and tissue paper.

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