Hideko Hidemika Metaxas
My good friend and supporter Hideko Hidemika Metaxas, is a remarkable person. She was born in Japan and immigrated to the USA in 1953. In 1973 she began her study of Ikebana, art which she now teaches. She is now ranked as a Senior Professor, 4th grade.
Hideko has been a bonsai artist for an even longer period of time. Her bonsai activities has won her an international recognition. Thanks to her bonsai contacts in Japan, Hideko was responsible for introducing to the Western Hemisphere the following bonsai sensei: M. Kimura, Y. Mitsuya, K. Kobayashi and M. Kobota!
Hideko has held major offices in Bonsai Clubs International and was the president of the prestigious Golden State Bonsai Federation.
Suiseki Philosophy, by Hideko Metaxas
A stone by itself is just a stone. It may possess an excellent landscape or scenery, but a stone must be first cleaned, aged, and properly places in an appropriate suiban with suitable sand, or placed in an appropriate daiza to be classified as a suiseki. An immortal stone, hard and cold, has a life with spirit and feeling. Especially when it is a suiseki. It speaks to you, it comforts you, and it listens to you. It also helps one to introspect and accept life.
The late Mr. Keiseki Hirotsu (our sensei) often used to tell us in his lectures, "Suiseki equals Zen". I never fully understood what he meant then. He used to say true suiseki admirers were the people who understood Zen Buddhism, but for some mysterious reason, became attracted to stones and eventually finding a peaceful world of stillness, nothingness, and tranquility in solitude, which is the world of Zen Buddhism.
My concept of suiseki is contemplation. Suiseki has a magical power to eliminate all nonessential desires, greed, emotions, etc. In contemplation through suiseki, there is nothing between oneself and nature. There is nobody between oneself and almighty god, the creator of the universe. Suiseki is magnanimous and patient. Suiseki allows individuals to find one's own spiritual sanctuary in their own space.
From: Golden Statements, November/December 2001
What is not too well known is the fact that Hideko is a consummate suiseki artist, having begun to study the art in 1980. She was a charter member of the San Francisco Suiseki Kai, under sensei Keiseki Hirotsu, whom I've written about in my book. She co-wrote "Introducing Suiseki, "one of the earliest and best articles on suiseki in the March/April, 1984, issue of the journal Golden Statements
Hideko, an affable and warm person, has a keen eye for suiseki material. She prefers small to medium-sized stones, exhibiting many of them in exquisite antique suiban. Hideko has also brought together a beautiful collection of Japanese suiseki.
All of Hideko's suiseki shown on my site, were collected in Northern California.