This stone is named the Marvelous Stone with Emperor’s Calligraphy. People would also call it as “Treasure of the Mountain” or “The First Marvelous Stone on Earth”.
There are there spectacular aspects about this marvelous stone.
Firstly, this giant stone is about 4.5 meters in length, 4.5 meters in width and 8 meters tall. According to expert’s estimation, it weighs over 300 tons and consists of two natural granites. The boulder on the top weighs about 110 tons. No one could ever explain how it got on the top, and it can only be described as the nature’s work.
Secondly, the upper stone is in a round shape and the lower stone was in the shape of a square. They accidentally comply with a Chinese traditional philosophy that the heaven is round and the earth is quadrate. Yin and Yang integrated with each other, as the upper stone can be regarded as heaven and the lower stone can be regarded as the earth. It’s just “heaven and earth integrating together”.
Thirdly, there was a big letter and 28 small letters engraved on the stone, together with 18 stamps. They look interesting, but have metaphors buried deep down inside. It’s said that the letters come from Emperor XianZong in Ming Dynasty, and are acknowledged as a wonder on earth. The big letter has smooth and coherent strokes, like a giant waterfall drifting down the valley.
The 28 small letters was a poem in Chinese. It says, “Who’s this pretty and gentle young girl, and she’s wearing a flower when the crops are still green. Her voice is so beautiful and she is now standing under her roof with a pearl in the body.” Literally, the poem is not difficult to understand. If interpreted with modern words, it says: Who are you, you beautiful maiden? You are as gentle as water, and as soft as a plant with tiny little flowers on the top. Your sweet voice echoes in the valley, and you just stand under your roof with a stunning smile on your face, handing me a pearl from the deepest part of the mountain. The pearl illuminated all the beauty and charm in my life.
However, the love poem is not that simple, but with metaphors buried deep down inside. What are its metaphors? Here’s an allusion. It’s said that Emperor XianZong from Ming Dynasty had a dream in his palace, and there was a beautiful girl drifted down to the Lady Mountain of Hezhou on the back of a jade unicorn. The emperor travelled south, and finally found his dream girl, a beautiful young girl in Yao minority, after quite a few ups and downs. They spent a great time together in deep mountains, and with the love from the emperor, the Yao girl got pregnant in secret. When the emperor had to get back to his palace, Yao girl sent him off at the entrance of the mountains. The emperor has such strong feelings, that he wrote a poem and had it engraved in a huge stone. His eunuch carefully thought on the poem and grasped the metaphor between the emperor’s words. The first two lines seemed to describe a beautiful young girl, but there’s an indication that the girl was born and raised in a nice environment with beautiful mountains and rivers. The last two lines seemed to describe on a scene, when the girl stood under a roof and gave the emperor a present, but it also implied that the emperor already felt it like home. The eunuch knew that the emperor could not live without Yao girl. However, it’s against the imperial etiquette system to marry her in public, so the eunuch secretly brought Yao girl back to the capital and had her enter the palace in private, hence to fulfill the emperor’s wish. Soon after that, Yao girl gave birth to a baby boy named Youtang Zhu. The emperor was thrilled to have this son, so he made an open announcement to his people, saying that Yao girl contributed a lot to the royal family by raising the next generation, and would be officiated as Concubine Shu. Concubine Shu’s hometown, where she and the emperor first made out, would enjoy the imperial respect and treatment. If you now understand the meaning of the poem, then it’s not difficult to understand the big letter. It’s said that the emperor once asked his misters on who to pronounce the word. Some said that it’s pronounced as “age”, some said that it’s pronounced as “family”, while some even said that it should be pronounced as “eighteen waters”. The emperor laughed out loud and nodded to every answer. Later, he finally explained, that the word could be pronounced as anything. If you pronounce it as age, you’ll have your life prolonged. If you pronounce it as family, you’ll encounter your beloved. And if you pronounce it as “eighteen waters”, you’ll remain as young as eighteen years old.
Since then, Shibashui gained its reputation in the world, that it is the hometown of extraordinary people and luck. At that time, people always say that no regardless of gender and age, anyone that comes to Shibashui would remain rich and young, as long as he/she touches the marvelous stone and read the letters in silence. In other words, this is called “you can have whatever you want by reading this poem”.