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Inundation with Spring Water Underground in Our Main Pit
1958 - 1963

Honko Konai no Shussui Yusui
[Inundation with Spring Water Underground in Our Main Pit]
21.1 x 30.0 cm Ink Painting

Mine Foreman Isokichi Sueta was watching the water level when our main pit was inundated with spring water underground. (He was an old man born in 1876, but stronger than younger workers in the prime of their lives.) He practiced zazen [meditation in Zen Buddhism] for 10 hours or more every day, which even Dharma, the founder of Zen Buddhism, might not have practiced. What patience he had! Everyone was impressed by his great patience. He usually entered the pit before dawn and patrolled everywhere to find defective points without stopping for a break in the underground station. He was the number one hard worker and his staff admired him very much.
This painting shows the No. 3 slope with a track on the left side of our main pit in the beginning of January in 1941. (Mining through the slope was restarted on the 16th of the month.) The slope was flooded in July of 1940 at first, and mining through it was started again after the drainage of the slope was completed in the middle of that November (with a pump borrowed from Kuhara Coal Pit in Kawasaki). Then water came out from the No. 4 rise of the No. 2 level right on December 30th and the above slope was flooded again (with 50 cubic meters of water). Underground bosses worried very much about the continuous flooding. One of the problems was that unexpected long power cuts often prevented them from draining the water smoothly because the electric cables were shared with each of the neighboring pits.
A lot of water suddenly sprung out from new deposits of the goshaku-so [about-five-feet-thick series of coal and rock layers] even in seasons other than the rainy season from June to July or typhoon season in autumn. Water sometimes sprung out from the collapsed zone near the fault. In any case, floods annoyed miners very much.

Additional Notes about a Pit Foreman
Mr. Shigeru Araki (49), an authority of coal mining, was installed in his new post as the pit foreman of Niko (the No. 2 Pit) i.e. Shinko (the New Pit) of our coal mine in the middle of November, 1940. He energetically tried to improve facilities for coal mining on the right side of the slope of the No. 2 Pit (such as building an endless track in the No. 2 level right and so on), but the plan was abandoned and he resigned from his job for personal reasons in the end of August, 1941.
I guess that one reason for his resignation was that he could not carry out his plan as he intended because of the general lack of material at that time.

Translation Assisted by Mr. Nathan Johndro

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