Stones laid on an earthen path, separately spaced, to facilitate walking. They are thought to have come into use in the garden in the Azuchi-Momoyama period, when the tea garden style was established, as their utility and appearance are suited to the ideals of wabi and sabi that the tea ceremony treasures.
Japanese Garden Dictionary: A Glossary for Japanese Gardens and Their History
(C) 2010 by Ono Kenkichi and Walter Edwards. All rights reserved.