Until 1868 women weren’t allowed to climb Mt. Fuji
A 1000 yen view
Mt. Fuji, as it appears on Japan’s 1000 yen note, is a view from Lake Motosu and is based on a photograph by Koyo Okada, in which he captured Mt. Fuji’s upside down reflection in the lake.
During WWII there was a plan to paint Mt. Fuji red
Although this is somewhat of a rumor, during WWII the CIA briefly considered dropping buckets of red paint on Mt. Fuji as a form of psychological warfare to degrade Japan’s morale. However, a more thorough analysis revealed that it would require 12 tons of paint and roughly 30,000 B29 planes to carry all the paint and the plan was quickly dropped.
The summit of Mt Fuji is not in any prefecture.
Although the mountain itself sits on the boundary between Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectures, a 1974 Supreme Court ruling stated that all land above station 8 (roughly 400 m2) belongs to a sacred shrine.
In 2008 a Mt. Fuji license plate was released
Due to popular demand, and in an attempt to stimulate the local economy, Shizuoka prefecture created a Mt. Fuji license plate in 2008. It’s available in 6 different districts and has become a collectable for Mt. Fuji aficionados.
Novel transforms Mt. Fuji forest into a hotbed for suicides
Seicho Matsumoto’s 1960 novel “Tower of Waves” (波の塔) detailed the love affair of a woman and prosecutor up until their untimely death at the end when they commit suicide in Aokigahara forest. The deep “sea of trees” had long been associated with spirits but in 1974 a women hung herself with the book, kicking off a sad and terrible spree.
Here’s a good 20-minute documentary about a man who walks the forest trying to prevent people from taking their lives.
There were once plans to build a high speed tunnel to the summit of Mt Fuji
In the 1960s Fuji Kyuko had plans to bore a tunnel through the south-west side of the mountain with a cable car that would take you to the summit in just under 13 minutes. Although the plan was shot down by conservationists, they did have a catchy slogan: to the summit of Mt. Fuji and back in heels.
Little did they know that more than 50 years later Teva would release stiletto high heels for hiking.
Debussy’s La Mer (the sea) was inspired by Mt. Fuji
Claude Debussy’s brilliant orchestral work, La Mer, is so free of traditions and influences that its modernity can still be felt today. Equally timeless was its inspiration, which is said to have come from the compelling force of the contrast between the wave and the mountain in Katsushika Hokusai’s The Great Wave at Kanagawa.
This is a series of posts on Mt. Fuji. All posts can be found HERE.