The works of Sakubei Yamamoto
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The Electrocuted Electrician
1958 - 1963

Denki-gakari Shokuin no Kanden-shi
[The Electrocuted Electrician]
21.1 x 30.0 cm Ink Painting

Text on the Right
Around 8:00 a.m. on May 6, 1941, a poor electrician, Mr. Masaharu Koga, died on duty. His accident happened when he was replacing a transformer at the entrance of the landing of the No.3 level left in the main pit. He got electrocuted at the moment when he lifted up the transformer in cooperation with a certain Mr. Kanzo who was a mechanic. All of the people in the pit could do nothing but be surprised, discouraged and stunned at this bad news like a bolt out of the blue, and were filled with indescribable grief. A former sailor of the Imperial Japanese Navy, Mr. Koga was an outstanding person with a well-built body and clear-cut features. He played an important role in Ito Coal Pit as an electrician who worked so hard that he never forgot to carry his pliers at any moment, and was a treasure of the pit.

Text at the Bottom
The Cause of His Electrocution
The roof was as low as 121 to 124 cm in height and the tunnel was narrow at the scene of the accident. There were no bare wire lines around there. However, all of the wire ends were bare at the inlets of the toggle switches. He supposedly touched one of the wire ends at the moment when he lifted the transformer. The mechanics and electricians in the pit, where the water drainage work pressed them day after day, worked hard day and night without taking a rest. It was said that he was physically and mentally tired out after working all through the previous night.

Text on the Left
Two days later, on May 8th, the pit funeral for him was held at Jikoji Temple in Yugeta. Repressing his tears, the pit foreman made a memorial address. Following him, Mr. Koga's wife, who was rumored to be equal to Yang Guifei (Kaigo no Hana: Intelligent flower) in beauty, offered incense. Her sobbing made all of the mourners shed tears. He had died only two months after he came to this pit on March 13th. His death made me think again and again about the frailty of human life.

Lettering above the Support Units
Ootoko Koga Shi: Big Man Mr. Koga
Chuotoko Kanzo Shi: Middle-sized Man Mr. Kanzo

Translation Assisted by Mr. Nathan Johndro

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