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Through clouds and fog
appearing, disappearing,
one hundred views of Fuji
.

matsuo basho

Mount Fuji has been celebrated by poets, novelists, and playwrights for almost 1,500 years, from Japan's earliest literary works to the present. In the anthology "One Hundred Literary Views of Mount Fuji," I have compiled and translated some of this important writing referring to Mount Fuji. The literature in which Mount Fuji appears includes Man'yōshū; The Tale of Genji; The Tales of Ise; Kokin Wakashū, Shinkokin Wakashū, and GosenWakashū; Tales of the Heike; poetry by Matsuo Basho, Kobayashi Issa, and the Imperial family; fiction by Natsume Soseki; Noh and Kabuki drama; and commentary and poetry by early foreign visitors—in the Momoyama and Edo Periods—and by contemporary non-Japanese writers. Together, the collection shows how Mount Fuji became a central icon of Japanese identity and explains the cultural and literary importance of this sacred mountain. The following poems and prose are excerpts from this collection. [End Page 1]

Peter MacMillan

Peter MacMillan has been a visiting fellow at Princeton, Columbia, and Oxford universities, and is a visiting professor at Kyorin University. He also teaches at the University of Tokyo. A citizen of Ireland and Britain, he has resided in Japan for twenty-five years and is an accomplished printmaker. His artist name is Seisai, which means "studio in the west," a name he took in homage to Hokusai.

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