Called Sleeping Giant, Japanese photographer Hidenobu Suzuki submitted his beautiful image of Mount Fuji to National Geographic’s Your Shot assignment called Embrace the Untamed. Suzuki’s photo was selected to be one of only 32 chosen out of a total of 18,000 entries submitted.
Photojournalist Evelyn Hockstein enlightened on how she selected the landscape shots, “The best landscapes were often sweeping, with dramatic light, weather, or terrain. I looked for landscapes that felt untamed, portraying Mother Nature as the wild, awesome force that dwarfs and awes us with her power and beauty.” Sleeping Giant does come across as such.
Mount Fuji is the beautiful world renowned volcanic cone as well as favorite subject of Japanese art particularly after 1600, when the former Edo, now Tokyo, became the actual capital. People would see the grand mountain while journeying on the Tōkaidō-road.
Mount Fuji is mentioned in Japanese literature throughout written history and is often the subject of poetry. The mountain has been chosen as a “cultural” rather than a “natural” heritage site. According to UNESCO, Mount Fuji has “inspired artists and poets and been the object of pilgrimage for centuries.” Suzuki’s Sleeping Giant thus does not come as a surprise.
The photograph was shot after a heavy downpour and the image depicts Mount Fuji majestically poised over Fujinomiya, a city situated in the Shizuoka Prefecture of Japan. Mesmerized by the beautiful colors and hues, Suzuki wrote, “When I took the photos in a breathless silence, I had a strong feeling that the Earth was alive and had a soul.”
Mount Fuji is not only stunning, but also has the distinction of being the tallest mountain in Japan. It is celebrated for its remarkably symmetrical cone shape. It is an active volcano having last erupted around 3 centuries ago. Located at 60 miles southwest of Tokyo, it is clearly visible from the city on a clear day.
See Suzuki’s impressive photo here.