Fukata Kyūya, was is immensely admired in Japan both as a mountaineer and a literary figure. Born in Daishoji, Kaga City, his most famous book, “A Hundred Famous Mountains of Japan,” a personal selection on criteria of beauty, history and personality, was first published in 1964 and won the Yomiuri Literary Award. Ever since, this book has been praised even beyond the circle of mountain climbing enthusiasts in Japan. It is a key reference for every person who is either moved by or simply eager to explore the beauty and variety of Japanese mountain landscapes. A very prolific author, he also penned novels, studies and remarkable essays about the Himalaya and the Silk Road that have been widely commented by specialists. While he was extensively researching on this later subject and revising his bestseller book “A Hundred Famous Mountains of Japan”, Fukuta Kyūya suffered a deadly stroke climbing Mount Kayagatake on March 21st, 1971. He was sixty-eight years old.
「 Mount Hakusan’s view from Lake Shibayama 」
Most Japanese people have a mountain attached to their hometown.
Fukata Kyūya, excerpt from “A Hundred Famous Mountains of Japan”
How profound the relationship a man has with peaks and heights must be so he feels entitled to thus equate mountains and people in his writings? Each mountain, just like people, has a personality of its own, assures the author. In the case of Fukata Kyūya, such absolute convictions were shaped in the course of a fifty years long mountaineering experience. And that very experience is where the excellence of his writings comes from. Fukata Kyūya unveiled to me the beauty of mountains while we were heading together towards the peak of Mount Tanigawa, back in the year 1938. That was a long time ago but a time when his work as an author had already begun.
Hideo Kobayashi in “Literary Studies on Mountain Literature”
Dating back to 1910, this two-story wooden building was originally a silk woven factory that remained active until the early 1980’s. Displaying clear influences of Western architecture trends of the time, such as the British style clapboard cladding exterior walls, it was later renovated to serve as a cultural facility dedicated to the life and work of the Japanese writer and mountaineer Fukata Kyūya. Located east to the building presently hosting the secretariat’s office is a two-story timber framed “kura”, a traditional storehouse where raw silk used to be stocked back in the days. The gabled arm lock gate is also noteworthy. The main building, the attached storehouse and the entrance gate were all designated as a tangible cultural property by the government in December 2002. And in November 2007, the facility was registered as part of the Heritage of Industrial Modernization Assets and Facilities by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Besides collecting materials related to Fukuta Kyūya’s life, writings and mountaineering career, this facility has amassed over the years a vast amount of books and documents dealing with the topic of mountains and mountaineering. By acquiring a comprehensive documentation on this universal subject and making it accessible to the public, our goal is to help promoting the beauty of mountains and the variety of mountain cultures around the world. Throughout the year, the facility hosts various exhibitions, talks by renowned authors and lecturers, book reading sessions and more. Please feel free to join us on such gatherings.