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

People at Coal Pits in the Old Days: Repairing the Sagged Roof
April 1965

Mukashi no Yamabito: Kiriage Shikuri
[People at Coal Pits in the Old Days: Repairing the Sagged Roof]
38.0 x 54.3 cm Painting in Watercolors and Ink

Supports were broken and walls were bent by rock pressure. The levels became narrow and their ceilings became too low for mine cars to go through them. In such cases, expert repairers were called to repair the defective spots. They skillfully used some short timber (tsukanari) and lagging (hanenari) for temporarily stopping roof-falls from occurring, and cut roofs and walls to widen the spaces without letting much refuse to fall. The repairs to the levels required their cool head and mature technique. Atoyamas (helpers: mainly chief repairers' [sakiyamas'] wives) also had to be attentive. If a chief repairer asked his helper to give him nails, he/she had to hand him not only nails but also a hammer. If the repairer asked the helper to give him a pot, he/she had to hand a pot with a lid. Such promptness was necessary for helpers.

Lyrics of "Gotton Bushi" Song at the Top Left
Anata hyaku made,
washa kujuku made,
tomoni shidami ga kojiru made.
Gotton! Dokkoi!

I wish you could live a hundred years,
and I ninety-nine,
and let us live together until we both go gray.
Gotton (Clang)! Dokkoi! (Interjected chants)

Translation Assisted by Mr. Nathan Johndro

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