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Images and ink (38)
7 hours ago
The special express for Gotemba departed at noon from the northwest terminal of Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station. Most of the seats where occupied as the train pulled out the station, the passengers returning home having paid there New Year’s respects at the Meiji shrine. More than half of them got off at the next station down the line. Gotemba, the train’s final destination, was the jumping off place for excursions in the Mt Fuji region; from there one could go to the mountain itself, or to the nearby Fuji Five lakes distinct. Winter however, was the off season in that area and by the time the train approached its final stop, fewer than twenty percent of the seats were still occupied. (p1)
There were about ten people waiting at the bus stop by the time the bus was ready to leave. It left promptly at 2:30 and threaded its way through the shop-lined streets of the city and out onto highway 138, Mt Fuji soaring majestically in front of them. Although capped with snow the mountain was not completely white; dark blue streaks running down from the peak accentuated the steepness of its slope.
The clean paved road wound its way through the foot-hills in gentle curves. As they drove along, Fuji remained fixed in its position, filling the very centre of the windshield. This view of the mountain was much different from the impression one got seeing it at a distance from the window of a bullet train. At this close range one was made aware of its powerful, imposing presence. (p13)
photo from Japan Bash
Through the windshield of the car they could see the forest of bare trees dusted lightly with snow and towering above them, the gloriously white peak of Mt Fuji. Miraculously, the peak was not hidden by clouds and the entire mountain was visible. As the car approached Lake Yamanaka, they looked directly at the eastern slope of Mt Fuji; viewed from here the peak appeared broader than from any other location, and the whole mountain seemed dignified and resolute. Nakazato puffed on a cigarette as he squinted and took in the view. The surface of the lake was a chilly blue, and out in the middle it was frozen white, with wavelike ripples. (p110)
This morning Fuji’s white peak shone brilliantly in the sun and seemed to pierce the very blue of the sky itself. Even the leafless forest of larch on the lower slopes shone brightly in the sunlight, making a blinding glare that caused one to squint. (p184)
year after year
the monkey wearing
the monkey mask
年々や猿に着せたる猿の面toshi doshi ya
saru ni kisetaru
saru no men
Basho haiku #816 New Year 1693