Friday, June 19, 2009

"Mountains my dearest!"

An alpinistic credo: from a letter written around 1908 by Kojima Usui, founder of the Japan Alpine Club, to Walter Weston. Says it all, really ....

“From what I have seen, I feel certain that mountaineering is prevailingly flourishing year by year, and the necessity of associating the Japanese Alpine Club will be recognised by many young peoples in the future not so long. They are delighted with mountains because they can have the pleasure to breathe in the pure, invigorating air, and refresh their weary souls and bodies, and wash their eyes by looking to the green forests, the foaming rapids, and a hundred other attractions of nature. Quite so to me, too! Mountains my dearest! Here I get the safety of my mind. Really eternity neighbours to me here. Mountains are the holy throne of Truth. Mountains have a silent eloquence which amuses me forever.”


The Playground of the Far East, by the Rev. Walter Weston, MA, FRGS - above passage quoted on page 29 of facsimile issue of first edition

More about how Kojima Usui came to found the JAC in Inventing the Japan Alps


sunnybeauty said...


TPB said...

Hello Captain,
Wonderful phrases to finish. It reminds me of your friend Richard Fortey, who quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson in his Alps chapter of 'The Earth': "the influence of fine scenery, the presence of mountains, appeases our irritations and elevates our friendships."
I now have two sources to find quotes concerning mountain slendour, thank you!

Chris ( said...

Wonderful! I don't think there is one among us who does not recognise at least a little of Kojima's exquisite sensibilities in our own mountain adventures.

Those interested in the Playground of the Far East might be interested to know that it is available online: