Mount Fuji has been formed by a series of volcanic eruptions that occurred over approximately the last 100,000 years, depositing layers of basalt and andesite rock. At 3,776 metres, Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan. Yet, the modern Mount Fuji is actually three volcanoes in one: Komitake, Ko-Fuji (Old Fuji), and Shin-Fuji (New Fuji). Over its history each volcano formed out of the remains of the last, with Shin-Fuji (its present form) becoming active roughly 10,000 years ago. It last erupted in 1707 and is now dormant.
Where is Mount Fuji geometrically located?
Mount Fuji is situated near the junction of three tectonic plates (North American Plate in the east, Eurasian Plate in the west, and Philippine Sea Plate in the south), with the fourth Pacific Plate subducting from east to west.
The collision of the Pacific Plate against others has created the Pacific Ring of Fire and this in turn is seen as a major cause of many of the Asia Pacific’s earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Roughly 90 percent of all the world’s earthquakes and 80 percent of the largest ones strike along this Ring of Fire.
Mount Fuji is one of the most intense spots of crustal movements in Japan, developing through continual activity since ancient times.
History of Mount Fuji
Mt. Fuji is also known as “an immortal mountain”, sacred for virtually as long as humans have lived nearby. It was originally a sacred mountain of the Ainu, the aboriginal inhabitants of Japan, and may have been named after the Ainu God of fire and earth – Fuchi.
For Shintonists, an offshoot of ancient Buddhism, Mount Fuji is sacred to the goddess Sengen-Sama and an embodiment of the very spirit of nature. This Fujiko sect, like its ancient Ainu counterpart, believe the mountain itself is a sacred being with a soul.
Although especially important to Shintoists, Mount Fuji is also sacred to Japanese Buddhists, who revere the mountain is a gateway to another world. Every summer thousands of pilgrims and tourists climb to the summit, many of them hiking throughout the night to witness the sunrise from its summit.
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