Jeffrey Holmes' Viewing Stone Page. An Asian art page providing information, images and links relating to suiseki, scholar's rocks, penjing, susok and viewing stones; Korean Susok Glossary

Suseok Glossary

I always find that it is helpful to create a glossary to have as a reference when studying something I am new at. That is exactly the case here because I have found very little information on Korean viewing stones. If anyone reading this has additional information, I would be extremely greatful for feedback.

All terms will be listed alphabetically. Some Korean terms may have more than one meaning. Similarly, there will sometimes be more than one Korean term for an English word or meaning. These have been cross-referenced whenever noticed.


Bada. Sea (see also hae).

Badadol. Stones found along the sea or along beaches. (See also haeseok.)

Bae. Oriental pear.

Baekupzildol. Stone with surface resembling an oriental pear.

Bawikyungseok. This is a stone that resembles a rock on a mountain or at the seaside.

Cheomahyungseok. A stone with a shelter or overhang as a major viewing point.


Daepumseok. Daepum means big. This is a large stone more than 45 cm in size.

Daezwa. Carved wood stand for display of suseok. Also called Zwadae.

Danbong-sanseok. A single peak mountain stone.

Danseok. This is a step stone, or a stone usually having two or more level plains.

Dhamhyungseok. This is a pond stone. It has a relatively small depression surrounded by small scale scenery. (See also hosooseok.)

Dol. Stone (see also seok).

Dokyungseok (Sumhyungseok). A stone that resembles an island.

Dongkool-hyungseok. A stone that has a cave as a major point of interest.

Dongmoolhyungseok. A stone that resembles an animal.

Gagongseok. Stones that have artificial modification such as cutting the bottom or surface grinding to enhance hwamoonseok (flower-patterned) stones. Goeseok. A stone that is curious or grotesque. Similar to original Chinese stones with multiple perforations or creases.

Gol. Bone (see also pia).

Golseok. Stones resembling animal bones. (See also piadol).

Googapseok. Stones with white inclusions covering the surface with regular intervals between lines. Resemble a turtle's shell.

Hachun. River (see also kaang).

Hachunseok. River stone. Stones found in rivers. (See also kaangdol.)

Hae. Sea (see also bada).

Haeseok. Stones found along the sea or along beaches. (See also badadol.)

Hosooseok. This suseok resembles a lake and should have a relatively large depression surrounded by large scale scenery. (See also dhamhyungseok.)

Hwamoonseok. A stone with inclusions or pattern resembling flowers.

Hyungsangseok. A category of suseok with shapes that resemble living creatures. It has two sub-categories; stones resembling human beings and stones resembling animals.

Inmoolhyungseok. A stone that resembles human forms such as Buddha.

Jiphyungseok. This is a house-shaped stone.

Kaang. River (see also hachun).

Kaangdol. River stone. Stones found in rivers. (See also hachunseok.)

Kaseok. A stone of high beauty or quality.

Keunsanseok. These stones look like close views of mountains. They are often a lighter color than wonsanseok.

Kupzil. Surface or skin. (See also pibu.)

Kwantongseok. A stone with one or more tunnels as a major viewing point.

Kyunghokaang. A river in Korea. The Kyungho river comes from a small stream in Zirisan (a famous mountain for sanseok).

Kyungseok. A primary classification category for Korean stones. "Kyung" means natural scenery and "seok" means stone. Such stones resemble natural things such as mountains, islands, etc.

Mooniseok. A category of suseok that includes patterns or inclusions resembling paintings, flowers, calligraphy, etc.

Moonjaseok. A stone with inclusions resembling Korean or Chinese calligraphic characters.

Miseok. Beautiful stone.

Myungseok. Masterpiece stone.

Namhankaang. A river in Korea. The Namhan river is considered to be the most important and famous collecting site in the country. Namhankaangdol. Suseok found in and around the Namhan river.

Ongdalsaem. A stone that resembles a small spring found on mountain sides.

Pia. Bone (see also gol).

Piadol. Stones resembling animal bones. (See also golseok).

Pibu. Skin or surface. (See also kupzil.)

Pibudol. Stone with a very special surface as a major viewing point.

Pokposeok. This is a stone that has inclusions or white resembling a waterfall.

Pyozunseok. Pyozun means standard. This is a standard stone between 15 to 45 cm in size.

Pyunwonseok. Plains stone. This stone displays a level plain with a mountain or hill on the far side of the view. (See also topaseok.)

San. Mountain.

Sankyungseok. Mountain view stone. There are two sub-categories; number of peaks and viewing distance.

Sanseok. Stones found in and around mountains.

Seok. Stone (see also dol).

SSangbong-sanseok. A double-peak or two mountain stone.

Shiksok. Decorative stone. Stone that serves primarily for "visual adornment". Sometimes the ornamental effect is enhanced by carving flower designs into its surface.

Shinseoks. Young stones (those newly collected). (See yangseok.)

Sopumseok. Sopum means small. This is a small stone less than 15 cm in size.

Suban. Ceramic container filled with sand or water for natural display of suseok.

Suseok. Natural stone. A stone appreciated for its intrinsic value. Used to view or for meditation. Literally "su" means long-life and "seok" means stone. Therefore, suseok means long-lived stone.

Taewhakaang. The Taewha river. Crosses the city of Ulsan. Famous for green-colored stones.

Topaseok. This is a stone that has a small plain close to one or more mountains. (See also pyunwonseok.) Whadae. A base used for formal display of suseok, under the daezwa or suban.

Wonsanseok. Distant mountain view. These are usually very dark stones.

Yang. Nurturing.

Yangseok. Nourishment of a young stone to make it look older by watering, hand-rubbing, and exposure to the sun.

Youngseok. Oriental dragon stone.

Yungkaang. The Yung river. A famous collecting place for suseok in Korea.

Yunsanseok. Mountain range stone. A stone in this category has more than three mountain peaks and resembles a series of mountains.

Zayunseok. Things that are natural or in their natural condition. In Korea, only zayunseok can possibly be candidates for suseoks.

Zirisan. A mountain in Korea famous for sanseok.

Zungwonseok. Since zungwon means garden, a zungwonseok is a garden stone. Generally larger than one person can carry in both hands.

Zwadae. Carved wood stand for display of suseok. Also called Daezwa.


Lee, Dr. Byung Ju, Article to Marco Favero. Most of this material was extracted from the article on Marco's site and revised into a glossary.

Hayes, James, Waiting To Be Discovered, The Newsletter of the North American Viewing Stone Society, 1996-1999

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