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

Increase in Coal Output during the Pacific War
August 1965

Taiheiyo Senso chu no Shuttan Zosan
[Increase in Coal Output during the Pacific War]
38.1 x 53.9 cm Painting in Watercolors and Ink

During the Pacific War (World War II) in the Showa era (1926-1989), each of the coal pits (yama) in the Chikuho region was trying hard to increase the production of coal regardless of their scale. Among them, Nagao Coal Pit in Ito (Iikane Village at that time) in Tagawa County produced 5,000 tons of coal a month though it was a small-scale pit with only about a hundred workers. The pit had a lot of coalfaces and miners were hampered by frequent stasis of mine car allotment. As the solution to this problem, the pit foreman changed young underground bosses Mr. Nagayoshi Okabe and Mr. Yasushi Nakamura into mine car drivers (norimawashi saodori) for a month starting from June 9, 1943. All transport men in the pit were very much shocked by this personnel shift, tensed up, beginning to act quickly on a war footing. Stasis of mine car allotment did not occur after that. From around July, a newly employed transport man, a certain Nakagawa, skillfully drove and allotted mine cars and raised the efficiency of coal transport. These facts taught us that the solution of mine car stasis mostly depended on the tact and intelligence of transport men. Of course, it also depended on if transport men working at the trestle were in high spirits.
Roofs were built at the pit mouths in small-scale coal pits in the beginning of the Showa era. Small and middle-scale coal pits had no decorative frames at pit mouths. Pit mouths in large scale coal pits had brick arches and roofs in the Taisho era (1912-1926).

Words in the Inset at the Bottom Right
Tansen Makitate: Single-track Turnouts
hon-oroshi: main slope
Kosumoto ni hito hako mukai bako ga iru: It was necessary for the mine car driver to provide an empty mine car, which was connected to the wire rope socket, to be coupled with loaded mine cars.

Supplementary Explanation outside the above Inset
(Most small-scale coal pits made their turnouts single track ones in order to keep their roofs firm, because the roofs of double-track turnouts became wide and weak.)

Words in the Inset at the Top Left
Makihanashi: winding up mine cars and releasing them from the wire rope socket on the surface
maki: winding machine
koguchi: pit mouth
sambashi: trestle
Koguchi ni anzenki ga hitsuyo. Kara bako no gyakuso ga oi: It was necessary to install reverse-stopping clicks in the track at the pit mouth. Empty mine cars frequently reversed out of control.

Words in the Inset at the Bottom Left
Makimodoshi: winding up mine cars
Kono shiki wa anzen: This method was safe.
maki: winding machine
hon-oroshi: main slope
reru: railway track
koguchi: pit mouth

Translation Assisted by Mr. Nathan Johndro

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