Do evening primroses really look very well in the landscape of Mt Fuji?


YUGA KURITA Mount Fuji SIGMA DP2 Quattro _P2Q0047 富士には月見草がよく似合う
Photo taken with SIGMA DP2 QUATTRO

Japanese literary giant in the Taisho/Showa era, Osamu Dazai wrote in his popular novel “Fugaku Hyakkei (One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji)”, “Tsukimisou (evening primroses/oenothera tetraptera) really look very well in the landscape of Mt Fuji.” Honestly speaking, I’ve never read any English translation of the novel, so I’m not sure if the exact same sentence actually appear in your book. Anyway, he said something like that. But, in fact, he didn’t see Fuji and evening primroses together with his eyes. When he was returning from Fujiyoshida to Misaka Touge, he witnessed people on the bus were very delighted to see magnificent Fujiyama through the windows. Then he found an old woman sitting on the other side of the bus gazing at the other side from Fujisan. Dazai sympathised with the old woman. He did the same and saw evening primroses blooming on the other side from Fuji, and then, said “Evening primroses really look very well in the landscape of Mt Fuji.” Meaning that, he never saw evening primroses together with Fuji in the same landscape.

He stayed at Tenka-jaya in Misaka Touge for several months to write this novel. The place is famous for the beautiful view of Mt. Fuji. Which fact is an evidence that he actually loved Fujisan. However, he was a young decadent writer, while Fuji is the most popular being in Japan. I image it was difficult for him to declare his love for Fuji in a straightforward way. He tried putting Fuji down in many ways in this novel.

There is a famous saying: “the opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.”  According to the Japanese mass media, it was coined by Mother Teresa but I recently learned that it was originated by  Elie Wiesel . Anyhow, I think it applies to his distorted, cynical love for Fuji very well. If he hadn’t been interested in Fuji, he wouldn’t have stayed at such a place and struggled to write a novel.

I think Dazai was such a person, and he inspires me to shoot Fuji with evening primroses. I set the focus on a flower in the bud stage and put Fuji in the defocused background. But now I think it wasn’t Dazai-esque enough. I should’ve probably chosen a wizen flower with an insect, ignored the horizon boldly, defocused the subject, and intentionally blurred the image with camera shake.

But I think, as far as the first photograph is concerned, I picked up the right camera, If you are an avant-grade type of person who don’t want to use Canon or Nikon that every one uses, the SIGMA dp2 Quattro may be the right choice.

YUGA KURITA Mount Fuji 富士に月見草_KE48508
Nikon D800E w/ SIGMA ART 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM

Both photos were taken in Oshino in Yamanashi pref. Since Dazai saw evening primroses around Kawaguchiko. I’d like to shoot the flowers with Fuji in the Lake Kawaguchi area.

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