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Friday, December 9, 2016

Views From The Top of Mt. Fuji - Circa 1951

From my friend Vinnie comes these exciting postcards depicting Mt. Fuji.

First of all, Vinnie bought these cards for me… well… for all of us at Japan—It’s A Wonderful Rife, because I like to share.

The cards are from 1951… showing views of Mt. Fuji I bet no one has seen in decades.

Mt. Fuji (aka Fuji-san) was a sore topic for myself, as I never saw it in person during my entire three year stay in Japan.

Located to the west of Tokyo, Mt. Fuji—Japan's tallest and most revered mountain—always appeared allusive to me.

Every time I remembered to look at it and for it, Mt,. Fuji would remain obscured by clouds... by rain, snow... by fog... smog...

Yet, when Matthew and his wife-to-be Takako went to Tokyo, they not only saw it, but climbed it. My friend John, too.

Me? I sped by via shinkansen (bullet train), it travels pass the base of Mt. Fuji... but there was weather getting in my way.

Then I traveled the two hours south from my place via train to visit a small village at the base of Mt. Fuji... fog.

I climbed the northern mountains near my home town, and used the high-powered telescope to look south at Mt Fuji. It was a beautiful warm, sunny and clear day up Mt. Nasu, yet when I glanced south towards the mountain of my desire, it was obscured by clouds.

It's why I began to believe that Mt Fuji did not really exist.

I even wrote this blog that way, inventing reasons why some people believed they had climbed a mountain that does not exist (hallucination gas delivered by Japan's Tourist Association).

And... in typical real-life Andrew Joseph true weirdness, I did finally see Mt. Fuji... from the airplane as I flew away from Japan for the last time... a last present and taunt from Japan.

I eagerly dug out my camera and snapped a photo through the glare of my plane window of Mt. Fuji's peak peeking out from the top carpeting of clouds, and then tried a second shot... with the camera running out of film...

So… having finally seen Mt. Fuji from 40,000 feet up and some 200 kilometers south... I can finally believe.

Anyhow... let’s enjoy the view from these cool 1951 postcard photographs of Mt. Fuji.

The only thing that looks weird to me, is the last photo showing the Rising Sun... the clouds don't look real... like the Japan Tourist Association hadn't yet perfected the art of creating perfect hallucinations yet in 1951.

By the way... should you ever climb Mt. Fuji, just note that it's not a sun rise until the sun is actually clear of visual obstruction and you can see the entire face of the star.

Andrew Joseph
PS: A famous Mt. Fuji adage notes: "A wise man will climb Mt. Fuji once, a fool will climb Mt. Fuji twice."
My guess is that the hallucinogenic gas doesn't work as well the second time.

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