The works of Sakubei Yamamoto
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Floods and Collapses
1958 - 1963

Suinan Barenan
[Floods and Collapses]
21.2 x 30.3 cm Ink Painting

Text at the Top Right
There was a 2 or 3 meter-long section composed of volcanic ash, sand, and gravel around a point about 40 meters away from the pit mouth of the main slope of the main pit [of Ito Coal Pit]. This part collapsed on June 26, 1941. It collapsed again on June 21, 1942 because of downpours during the rainy season. The remote cause of this series of collapses was the roof fall caused by runaway mine cars on February 4, 1941, in which some support units were destroyed. After that, muddy streams resulting from the downpours during the rainy season bared the support units at this section and caused collapses repeatedly. It was difficult to repair the collapsed section every time. It took 10 to 15 days to repair it. (Additionally, a village road ran above the section.)
Since the main pit was a small-scale pit, the pit owner was not eager to improve everything in this pit. However, he did not close it, intending to use it until the coal washer in the No.2 pit was completed. Miners would be troubled by floods and collapses.

Text at the Bottom Center
The inclination (bangayari) of the steepest part of the return air way was more than 40 degrees, and this part was 100 meters long. Other parts of this slope were inclined about 25 degrees. When the main slope was blocked by collapses, underground bosses and pump men entered and exited the pit through this return air way. The part near the mouth (hashirikomi) of this slope was inundated with rain on rainy days. These people ascended this part of the slope, stepping through the rainwater. Since there were no steps or handrails, they had to hold pipes (for pumping up water) and cables to climb up this part of the slope. I shudder even today at the thought of climbing this dangerous slope.

Words in the Inset (Structure of the Main Pit of Ito Coal Pit)
honsen: main slope
kazanbai: volcanic ash
niju godo ga ni-sanjumetoru: 25-degree slope 20 to 30 meters long
migi mataoroshi: right diagonal slope
yonkata made: stretching to the No.4 level
sankata oku goshaku-so: goshaku-so coal bed in the recesses of the No. 3 level
migi nikata: No.2 level right
tsumesho: underground station
Nikata wa niko ni kantsu hito ga toru dake no ana: The No.2 level was connected to the No.2 pit with a passage through which only workers could go.
nanaju go, goju pompu: 50 and 75-HP pumps
furuto: old cavity
haiki: return air (way)
(probably) niju godo: 25 degrees
yonjudo sanjumetoru: 40 degrees inclination of a 30-meter section of the return air way
sempuki: fan
sanju pompu: 30-HP pump
hidari sankata: No.3 level left
nihyakumetoru: 200 meters
Kono kan godo no kobai magari oku boto oroshi de (mi-bako) hako no dassen hinpin: This part of the slope was inclined 5 degrees and had a lot of curves. Loaded mine cars (mi-bako) frequently derailed here while they were wound up with a sprag inserted into the rear wheel of the mine car at the tail end of each train to in oder keep them from descending easily (boto oroshi).
Koguchi yori oroshi pompu yaku sambyaku gojumetoru yo: It was about 350 meters or more from the pit mouth to the pumps at the pit bottom.
honkonai sanjaku: sanjaku-so coal bed in the main pit
nishi: west
kita: north
hen-atsuki: transformer
Koga Shi denshi: Mr. Koga was electrocuted here.
Yaku nihyakumetoru gokata made ari: This slope ran to the No.5 level about 200 meters away from here.
niju maki: 20-HP winding machine
makioroshi goshaku-so: goshaku-so coal bed in the main slope

Translation Assisted by Mr. Nathan Johndro

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