Come join me on a tour of five Tokyo neighborhoods while exploring the stasis and change revolving around Mt. Fuji.
It’s hard to imagine Fuji being an even bigger part of people’s lives than before – when Hokusai painted thirty-six views of Mt. Fuji, I’m sure people thought he had exhausted all the ways to see Fuji. However, this classic icon of Japan remains today, with modern twists. There are more and more creative representations of Fuji for the modern-day person, like iphone cases, bank advertisements, and towels. Modern cartoon representations of a cute, or “kawaii” blue mountain with a snowcapped peak are mixed in with the classic ukiyo-e paintings. After journeying through Tokyo, there appears to be a pattern that dictates which representations appear in each part of the city. The more expensive areas have elegant images of Fuji for people to look at, while the districts that are bustling with young people have cute representations of Fuji that can be used in everyday life. This might indicate that the views of Fuji are changing through the generations: instead of being an icon that needs to be revered from afar, Fuji is infiltrating people’s daily lives at a faster rate than ever before. The epitome of the evolving view of Mt. Fuji is the J.P. Morgan bank advertisement that embodies stasis and change: a majestic Fuji with the rising sun is the backdrop for a modern Tokyo skyline. Even though the rest of the landscape has changed, Fuji remains day after day.