At the British Museum, there is an exhibition of the popular paintings by Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849). There are several images of the Fuji volcano.
They are symbols of natural power and human vulnerability. Hokusai’s infatuation with Mount Fuji was much more than an admiration of its beauty. The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter told that a goddess placed an elixir of life at the top of the peak, and thus the mountain was a secret source of immortality, as well as a secret reason for Hokusai’ obsession with the mountain.
This gave him a chance to explore and experiment with its beauty.
A section through a present-day volcano shows its hidden structure:
Cross-section through a stratovolcano (vertical scale is exaggerated):
- Large magma chamber
- Conduit (pipe)
- Layers of ash emitted by the volcano
- Layers of lava emitted by the volcano
- Parasitic cone
- Lava flow
- Ash cloud