• SHARE

Mount Fuji stands as a powerful eco-symbol in Japan, invoked frequently to describe elements of Japanese nature and culture. According to Japanese writers and others, Mount Fuji’s towering summit-cone and elegantly balanced slopes convey the remote majesty of nature, the essence of purity, a trove of immutable values, a model of aesthetic perfection, and a store of Japanese reserve, to name but a few.

Yet in illustrating how contemporary Japanese society actually works, the sacred peak faces competition from two other mountainlike entities. Lurking out of the public eye are two problematic stockpiles — of plutonium and whale meat — whose mountainous bulk not only looms over Japanese environmental policy and international relations but speaks to the problems that led to the 3/11 disasters.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW