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There is a word in Japan for the beauty that the above scene evokes: “Sakasafuji,” which literally means, “Fuji reflected on the water.” The fact that the Japanese have incorporated the famous mountain into the fabric of their language should tell us just how important it is to many of them. The question is, why? Is it because of its height in relation to other mountains? The rush one feels upon finally arriving at the top? Or is it simply the beauty of the mountain itself? Let’s take a look at some photos and try to find out the answer.

I’ve seen this view many times in Tokyo, and I love the beautiful friction here: A natural-made mountain vs. man-made buildings, vying for the same space in our eyes.

Here we can’t even see the tip of the mountain! Our eyes are drawn to the swirling clouds accompanying the sunset, the placid lake, and the only living thing: A single duck.

In both of these shots, Fuji is perfectly framed by borders of “Momiji” leaves. It seems like the barest ghost of a mountain in contrast to the blue of the water and the green of the trees.

Fuji appearing to spew out beautiful cloud trails, it’s top again obscured.

Where is Fuji in these pictures? In the first it’s just an etching on the sky, and in another…well that could be a cloud, don’t you think?

Here’s Fuji vying for attention “behind” a gas station…

…just one of many beautiful things we can see on our way to work.

Hokusai’s famous painting

Photo by Chris m.

(Original Image by Katsushika Hokusai)

So, did you figure it out yet? I think that for the Japanese, Fuji is beautiful not so much in itself, but in how it is framed by other things. If you don’t believe me, just ask Hokusai what he thinks.

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