Notes, Thoughts, and Ideas.

Traveling with Art: Mount Fuji, Japan

What mountain could be better-known than Mount Fuji?

These hand-painted postcards featuring Mount Fuji have been created with care in an example of fine handiwork as testament to this famous icon of Japan.

Handpainted postcard showing the view from near Mount Fuji.

The view from near Mount Fuji.

Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan and is an active stratovolcano. It sits on Honshu Island, the most populated island of the country.

The first to climb Mount Fuji was a monk in 663, and the first foreigner, named Sir Rutherford Alcock, reached the summit in eight hours in 1868.

When Edo (which is now Tokyo) became the capital of Japan, people began noticing the mountain from the local Tokaido-road. But even before then, people had admired the beautiful mountain.

Great Wave off Kanagawa

Great Wave off Kanagawa

The mountain has inspired artists, writers and poets for centuries. Perhaps the most famous art is Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji by Katsushika Hokusai. This set contains views of the mountain from different seasons and viewpoints, perhaps the most famous of which is The Great Wave off Kanagawa which was published between 1830 and 1833.

From as early as the 7th century, the mountain has been considered sacred. Today, shrines still sit at the base and on the ascent for practitioners of Shinto.

Brooklyn_Museum_-_Cool_Picture_View_of_Mt._Fuji_-_Utagawa_Hiroshige_(Ando)

Art featuring Mount Fuji; from the Brooklyn Museum.

Some scientists say that Fuji is due for another eruption soon, though the evidence for such a claim is shaky. The last eruption took place in 1707.

Today, Mount Fuji makes for a beautiful tourist destination, whether you’re climbing to the top or admiring from afar. And it’s a majestic view for all of the locals of Tokyo.

Have you seen Mount Fuji in person? Let us know in the comments!

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