Image: Mt.Bieifuji ( left ) and Mt.Biei, up from Shirogane-onsen, Biei, Hokkaido.
Ink: How Biei came to be Biei, from Nihon Hyakumeizan (One Hundred Mountains of Japan) by Fukada Kyūya (1964):
When Matsuura Takeshirō first visited this place and made as if to drink from this river, a local Ainu cried out "Piei, piei!" to stop him. "Piei" meant that the water was greasy from the sulphuric effusions of Tokachi-dake. The name Biei stems from this incident. The town was founded in 1896 (Meiji 29), and its name was originally written with the characters for beautiful (bi) and for excellent (ei). The latter character is also used to represent "England", however, and, in the wake of some chauvinistic thinking, it was replaced with a more difficult ideograph.
Many thanks to "Threepinner" for posting the elegant header picture on his flickr site, whence it comes here. Photography fans should visit his flickr pages to see more superb mountain photography from Hokkaido.