sci.lang.japan FAQ / 3. Word origins

3.1. What is the name of Mount Fuji?

Mount Fuji in Hokusai's
"Measuring a Pine Tree at
Mishima Pass in Ko Province"

In Japanese, its name is Fujisan (富士山). It is virtually never called Fujiyama. The san in Fujisan is not related to the san suffix used to show respect: see 3.2. What are the origins of the suffix for names?. The san in Fujisan means "mountain" and its Chinese character can also be pronounced yama in some cases, but not in this case. The san pronunciation is probably used in the name Fujisan because san, the Chinese derived reading (on'yomi) of the character, matches the Chinese readings used for the other two characters. Yama is a native Japanese pronunciation (kun'yomi) of the character.

sci.lang.japan FAQ / 3. Word origins

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