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.

 

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Handpainted postcard showing 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.

 

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The 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.

 

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Art from the Brooklyn Museum, featuring Mount Fuji

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!

Traveling with Art: Mount Shuksan, Washington State

 

On the west side of Washington State, Mount Shuksan has become a beloved mountain of the Pacific Northwest. It’s one of the most visited and photographed in the world; the artist Banksy even used it in a piece in Palestine.

 

This particular piece that you see above is by the artist Laurie Wells, titled “Autumn at Mt. Shuksan.” Its name “Shuksan” comes from a Lummi word meaning “high peak”. It’s a non-volcanic peak and makes for a stunning, almost intimidating view. The huge mountain has made many best-of lists, including “Washington’s Highest Peaks” and “Great Peaks of North America”.

 

mt_shuksan_from_baker_lake

A view of the mountain from Baker Lake. By Lhb1239 on Wikimedia, CC 3.0

“Mt. Shuksan epitomizes the jagged alpine peak like no other massif in the North Cascades…Shuksan is one of the finest mountaineering objectives in the North Cascades and its reputation is certainly deserved” – Fred Becky, Cascade Alpine Guide : Rainy Pass to Fraser River

 

It’s common to see photographs with the mountain’s reflection in Highwood Lake near the Mount Baker Ski Area.

 

The mountain also has its own waterfalls: Sulphide Creek Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in North America, along with four other tall waterfalls.

 

It’s a paradise for hikers, to be sure — not to mention clearly popular among the artistic crowd! This Pacific Northwest monument is sure to impress.

 

Have you ever visited Mt. Shuksan? What did you think?