Scarcely less important in Japanese eyes than the chiselling of the decorative design itself is the preparation of the field to which it is applied.
It has been quarried since 1785; marble monuments were first manufactured about 1808; and at South Dorset in 1818 marble seems first to have been sawed in blocks, the earlier method having been chiselling.
Great importance has always been attached by Japanese experts to the patina of metal used for artistic chiselling.
With regard to incised chiselling, the commonest form is kebori (hair-carving), which may be called engraving, the lines being of uniform thickness and depth.
In this kind of chiselling the Japanese artist can claim to be unique as well as unrivalled.