Image: View of Mt Fuji from Mannenbashi, Fukagawa, by Andō Hiroshige (1797-1858)
Ink: Dazai Osamu on the appearance of Mt Fuji, from "One Hundred Views of Mt Fuji" (1939):
The appearance of Mt Fuji as one sees it from an apartment in Tokyo has little to recommend it. In winter, there's a good view of the mountain, this little white triangle sitting on the horizon, that's it there. Not a big deal, just a kind of Christmas cake. Careening perilously to the left, it looks like a stricken warship that's starting to slip, stern-first, beneath the waves.
One winter, three years ago, somebody brought home to me an ugly truth - something I found quite unthinkable. Completely distraught, that night, in my apartment, I sat alone putting away glass after glass. I just drank; I didn't get a wink of sleep that night. At daybreak, I went to the bathroom and there, through the grille over the window, I caught sight of Mt Fuji, small, pallid, and heeled over somewhat to the left. I'll never forget this view of Fuji.
Outside, I heard a bicycle rush by on the asphalt street - it was the fishmonger and I heard him say to himself, with a shiver, that Fuji was clear this morning because of the cold. As for me, I was inside in the dark, running my hand over the window, and crying my eyes out. I hope never again to experience anything like this.