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Fujisan, sacred place and source of artistic inspiration

The highest mountain in Japan, Mt. Fuji is 3,776 meters above sea level, and is located more or less in the center of Japan, stretching over Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectures.

The worship of Fujisan is unique in nature, centering on efforts to draw power from the deitiesresiding on the mountain and to experience of a symbolic death and rebirth in the course of making worship-ascents from the slopes to the summit of the mountain and pilgrimages to religious sites at the foot of the mountain.

As the beliefs, ceremonies, and religious activities of Fujisan-worship evolved, the awe that the volcanic Fujisan inspired gave birth to traditions that emphasized coexistence with nature, and that in turn evolved into traditions focused on reverence and affection for Fujisan’s majestic form and gratitude for the blessings it provides through the springs at its base and other natural attributes. The essence of those traditions has transcended the ages and continues to be faithfully preserved to the present day, influencing the form and spirit of contemporary ascents of the mountain and pilgrimages to the sites on and at the base of Fujisan.
In addition, these traditions served as inspiration for the ukiyo-e prints by Katsushika Hokusai (ca. 1760-1849) and Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858), depicting the many facets of Fujisan, and as the wellspring for the transformation of Fujisan into an iconic figure with outstanding universal significance. In this way, Fujisan has become a significant symbol of Japan and Japanese culture.

Katsushika Hokusai (C) Hagi Uragami Museum
The property is comprised of 25 component parts centered on the Fujisan Mountain Area. Which include Fiji Five lakes, pilgrims routes, Sengen jinja shirens, Oshi lodging houses, Oshino Hakkai Springs, Funatsu and Yoshida lava tree molds, Hitoana Fuji-ko Iseki, Shiraito no Taki waterfalls and Mihonomatsubara pine tree grove.

(Source: Nomination of Fujisan for Inscription on the World Heritage List)

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