The works of Sakubei Yamamoto
Labor in the Mines (repairs)

Wooden Cribbing in the Meiji (1868-1912), Taisho (1912-1926), and Showa (1926-1989) Eras (Work by a Husband and Wife)
1964 - 1967

Meiji, Taisho, Showa Ki-kozumi (Fufu de no Sagyo)
[Wooden Cribbing in the Meiji (1868-1912), Taisho (1912-1926), and Showa (1926-1989) Eras (Work by a Husband and Wife)]
38.0 x 54.3 cm Painting in Watercolors and Ink

Text at the Top Right
Wooden cribbing (ki-kozumi) filled with debris was called mi-kozumi (filled cribbing), and cribbing with no debris was called kara-kozumi (open cribbing). The names of these two types of ki-kozumi were shortened to miko and karako respectively.
Building supports of this kind to prevent roofs from falling required huge expenses for material (mine timber) and labor. So, it was only adopted at coal pits in exceptionally good financial condition. At such a pit, this kind of cribbing was sometimes adopted when miners had to remove a part of the most important untouchable safety coal pillar. It was as if poor people withdrew all of their money from the bank to buy rice.

Text at the Bottom Right
Gas lamps using carbide were used at most small and middle-scale coal pits from the end of the Meiji era until postwar years in the Showa era. However, they were only used at pits without the danger of fire damp, of course.

Text at the Top Left
Thin mine timber could be moved lightly by a sakiyama (most often a male hewer or leader) alone. However, it was easier for him to carry it if his wife kindly helped him. The karako was removed after it became useless, but the miko was almost impossible to remove.

Lyrics of "Gotton Bushi" Song
Musume yorokobe kondo no muko wa
shigoto de kirai de sake ga suki.

You are so lucky, daughter!
Your new husband doesn't like to work, but likes to drink.
Gotton (Clang)! (Interjected chant)

Translation Assisted by Mr. Nathan Johndro

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