The works of Sakubei Yamamoto
Transport (outside the mine), Coal Sorting

Coal Screening with Grids Called Mangokus
January 1965

Mangoku de no Senbetsu
[Coal Screening with Grids Called Mangokus]
38.0 x 54.3 cm Painting in Watercolors and Ink

Text on the Right
When no coal dressing machines were available in the Meiji era (1868-1912), lump coal and slack coal were separated through grids called mangokus even at small-scale coal pits with more than 20 miners. Coal picking women (sentan-me) removed debris only among the lump coal. A mangoku was composed of iron bars 3/4" (rokubu maru: about 18 mm) or 5/8" (gobu marutetsu: about 15 mm) in diameter and 12 feet long, which were laid at about 12 mm or 15 mm (shi-gobu) spaces so that the mangoku became about 6 feet wide. A few mangokus were leaned against the mine-car trestle. The sorted coal was scooped up into mine cars and conveyed to the nearest place from the pit to dump it into coal cars. The distance to the nearest station from each pit was different, depending on the location of the pit. Coal cars at that time had a capacity of 8 tons of coal. Miners at Y, K, and S Coal Pits had their ponies tow about 7 mine cars or 3 tons of coal. Coal was directly loaded into coal cars at Tadakuma Coal Pit at that time and the miners at this pit scooped up the coal screened through mangokus with bamboo winnows (ebijoke) around 1897. (Mangokus were inclined about 60 degrees.)

Text at the Top Right
Unsorted coal raised from underground was called kirigomi.

Text at the Top Left
Simple tipplers (daruma) were introduced to coal pits in the latter half of the Meiji era. Each mine car used in slopes with guide rails and rollers (surase) had no side doors (yokofuta). This mine car had a front door (tatefuta), whose top was hinged. The door was opened by turning a handle of round iron 1 inch in diameter behind the car.

Translation Assisted by Mr. Nathan Johndro

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