Mt. Fuji is a great and continuous source of inspiration for me. There’s no other mountain in the world like this. It has such a deep connection with culture on many levels, including literature, art with painting. So to me, as a councilor of the National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan, its listing as a World Heritage site last year was very natural.
Mt. Fuji changes its shape depending on the age. In the Heian period (794-1185), it was the symbol of love, and there are thousands of poems comparing one’s love to Mt. Fuji because in those days, Mt. Fuji was erupting. They would say, “I am deeply in love with you and my heart burns like the flame at the peak of Mt. Fuji.” There are countless poems about Fuji in “Manyoshu” (“The Ten Thousands Leaves,” late eighth century) and “Kokinshu” (“Collection of Ancient and Modern Poems,” early 10th century).