Mount Fuji and Mount Tsukuba

Suzuki KiitsuEdo period, c. 1835–43

Harvard Art Museums

Harvard Art Museums
Cambridge, United States

Two of Japan’s most famous peaks—Mount Fuji to the west of Edo and Mount Tsukuba to the northeast—are depicted on the recto and verso of this fan by School of Kōrin painter Suzuki Kiitsu. In the early modern era, Mount Fuji was conventionally depicted snowy white, its summit divided into three peaks. Mount Tsukuba was painted blue with two peaks. Kiitsu wittily takes advantage of the transparency of the fan paper by allowing the silhouette of each mountain to define the form of the other: when held to the light, the snow line of Fuji reveals itself also to be the profile of Tsukuba, painted on the reverse. Similarly, Fuji appears to loom behind Tsukuba, suggesting that the fictive viewing position is Edo itself, safeguarded between the two sacred mountains.


  • Title: Mount Fuji and Mount Tsukuba
  • Creator: Suzuki Kiitsu
  • Creator Lifespan: 1796–1858
  • Date Created: Edo period, c. 1835–43
  • Credit Line: Promised gift of Robert S. and Betsy G. Feinberg
  • External Link: Harvard Art Museums
  • Medium: Folding fan; ink, color, silver, and gold on paper

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