"Visions of Fuji: A Portrait of the Japanese People as Seen Through Mt. Fuji" Exhibition

Izu Photo Museum

poster for "Visions of Fuji: A Portrait of the Japanese People as Seen Through Mt. Fuji" Exhibition

This event has ended.

Mt. Fuji is a unique mountain that has long attracted the reverence of the Japanese people. They look up at its graceful lines, sometimes as an object of religious veneration, at others, as a symbol of the nation. Although Mt. Fuji itself remains immutable, different periods and changes in people’s sentiments have given rise to a diversity of images inspired by this mythic peak.

The image of Mt. Fuji in poetry, literature and painting has undergone a myriad of changes since ancient times, reflecting the mental landscape of Japanese people who have assigned various ideologies and sentiments to this mountain.

This exhibition will present photographs and various printed media depicting Mt. Fuji to illustrate the way its image has been transformed to cater to the tastes of the times: ‘Fuji’ in the mid- to late-nineteenth century, ‘Fuji’ through the eyes of foreigners, ‘Fuji’ at world expositions, ‘Fuji’ during WWII and ‘Fuji’ in contemporary art, etc.

Photography was invented in Europe in the mid-nineteenth century and arrived in Japan just as the feudal period was drawing to an end. It can therefore be argued that the numerous photographs that have been taken of Mt. Fuji since the medium was first introduced represent a mirror on modern Japan and a portrait of the Japanese people who lived through the various periods since then. This exhibition is the first in a series entitled, ‘Modern Japan as Seen from Mt. Fuji’ that will be held at the Izu Photo Museum, which is situated in the vicinity of Mt. Fuji.

[Conversation]
‘The Japanese and the Fuji Syndrome’
Ryuichi Kaneko, photography historian + Shino Kuraishi, critic + Masashi Kohara, researcher at the Izu Photo Museum
June 19th, 14:30 – 16:00

[Gallery Talks]
Izu Photo Museum provides gallery talks by the curator every Saturday at 14:15. Tours are free with admission. Reservations are not necessary.

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