Yama no Hi

It’s a holiday today – and not just any old holiday, but a brand new one!

2016 marks the first occurence of yama no hi or Mountain Day, where the Japanese are encouraged to “get familiar with mountains and appreciate blessings from mountains.”

Since this is the most modern Japanese holiday, there’s no big and ancient story behind it that I could tell, except that the Japanese Alpine Club had something to do with it. It was chosen deliberately for August 11th, at the beginning of the Obon week to give people an extra day off. By now, there is a holiday in each month except June, and I wonder if the Japanese government will fill that gap eventually.

Of course, the most important mountain in Japan is Mount Fuji, and I am sure I will not run out of pictures here for a long time. Although I have passed Mount Fuji several times on my way from Kyoto to Tokyo and back, so far, I have not seen it myself. The mountain was always covered in clouds (after all, it is 3,776.24 m high), or it was pouring down altogether. So, I cannot share any of my own photos, but, there is enough Japanese art to share.

The image below is by Takeuchi Seihō (1864 – 1942) a painter from Kyoto. Mount Fuji by Takeuchi Seiho