☆Yamabe-no Sukune(Lord) Akahito’s poem: (a Tanka = Short Verse)
Once on a fine Spring day,
As I rode past Tago Beach
Along the sun-lit bay,
Yond there loomed up Mount Fuji,
With pure white snow atop the peak...
Probably this is one of the most well-known poems in the history of Waka (Tanka).
The poet, Akahito, is the first ever songwriter to sing about Mount Fuji, the symbol of natural beauty of Japan, at least on record. Mount Fuji has kept its grandeur and grace in shape up till today, and most of travelers both from within Japan and from overseas will enjoy the breath-taking beauty of the mountain, either through the window of Shinkansen bullet train or through the window of an airplane. You may even try to hike up walkways or passes of the “august slopes” (see preceding Choka).
The poem here of Akahito’s is depicting the mountain in a spectacular scale.
Incidentally, I live in Ichikawa City in Chiba Prefecture. Ichikawa is in the westernmost location in Chiba Pref., and adjacent to Edogawa Ward of Tokyo, just across Edo River, which is one of large rivers running in Tokyo, others being Arakawa, Sumida, and Tama Rivers. On a fine and clear day, we can see as far as Mt. Fuji in the west, about 200 km
Away from Tokyo. I took a photo of the landscape from the east bank of Edo River once and at a different point in time made a Tanka on Mt. Fuji, as seen from there.
The photo is the one of a twilight time, while the poem I wrote describes Mt. Fuji in the daylight time.
The poem read as follows:
(艘影 7/16/2012 於 江戸川)
The following is my English translation for the above:-
From Edo River bank,
Overlooking way westward,
As far as you can,
See the Sky Tree, and onward,
See Mt. Fuji and white clouds!
“Soh-ei” is my pen name for poem-making, meaning “Ship-Shade”, taken from my career profession in the shipping and shipbuilding business (retired 6 years ago).
“Sky Tree” is, as you may well know, a high-rise tower, 634 meters high, and very popular sightseeing spot (you can go up to the observation level by elevators), and it is illuminated after dark. It is a tower for TV and Wire transmission as well as an entertainment place offering restaurants and pleasure spots. It was built in Sumida Ward, after the first high-rise tower, “Tokyo Tower” (which is located in Minato Ward of Tokyo), It is crowded with sighseers and restaurant-goers all the time (except now, perhaps – I’m not sure as I don’t go there these days – due to the obvious reason of Covid pandemic).
My photo put up here depicts Sky Tree in the twilight time, and you see it illuminated.
It is about 11km from Ichikawa/Edo River to Sky Tree, and further beyond you can see Mt. Fuji, about 200km away, on its upper part, on a fine and clear day.
A shot taken from the east bank of Edo River, with Sky Tree and further beyond, Mt. Fuji. Taken in 2014 by HM.