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Fujisan, Sacred Place and Source of Artistic Inspiration

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Fujisan, Sacred Place and Source of Artistic Inspiration

Fujisan, Sacred Place and Source of Artistic Inspiration

Fujisan, famously known as Mt. Fuji, is the tallest mountain in Japan at 3,776m or 12,388ft. There is a total of 25 sites inscribed under Mt. Fuji, including the Fuji Five Lakes (Fujigoko), Sengen Shrines, Oshi Lodging Houses, Oshino Hakkai Springs, Funatsu, Yoshida lava tree molds, Shiraito Falls, and Miho Pine Grove. Its history in Japanese art has made the mountain a recognized symbol of Japan.

Mt. Fuji is currently an active stratovolcano; its last eruption was in 1707. The mountain’s symmetrical slopes and snowcapped cone make Mt. Fuji a unique icon. It has been a center for Shinto practice, which is one of the indigenous religions in Japan. The worship of Fujisan centers on drawing power from the deities residing in the mountain. To calm the repeated eruptions during the 8th century, Asama no Okami, the deity in Mt. Fuji, was enshrined. As the devotion to Mt. Fuji evolved, traditions that emphasized the harmony between man and nature eventually turned into gratitude for the blessings the mountain provides. Along the climbing routes, you can see stone monuments, small shrines, and a variety of festivals related to the adulation of Fujisan.

Fujisan has been the subject various artistic artwork due to its majestic shape. Beginning around the Edo Shogunate, ukiyo-e, or woodblock prints, famously depicted Mt. Fuji. Notable artists like Katsushika Hokusai and Utagawa Hiroshige presented Fujisan from different perspectives. Its representation goes back to the 11th century, but works particularly in the 19th century are still widely known around the world and have left a deep impression on Western art. Mt. Fuji is a majestic symbol and an exceptional testimony to cultural and religious tradition.