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Mining Coal in a Squatting Position
May 1967

[Mining Coal in a Squatting Position]
37.6 x 53.8 cm Painting in Watercolors and Ink

No one used the word Chikuho in the Meiji era (1868-1912).
[Translator's Notes: The word "Chikuho" is composed of two parts. "Chiku" represents "a part of Chikuzen" i.e. old Onga County including present Wakamatsu, Tobata, and Yahata, Kaho County and Kurate County. "Ho" represents "a part of Buzen" i.e. Tagawa County.]
Most coal mines in the Chikuho region had thin coal beds with a thickness of no more than 60 centimeters, such as the shakunashi coal beds of Kamimio Coal Pit and San-nai Coal Pit, or the coal bed of Kongo Coal Pit in Kurate County.
At the faces of the thin coal beds, sakiyamas (hewers) did not wear even warajis (straw sandals), but atoyamas (helpers) wore ashinaka warajis (half-sole straw sandals). In any case, miners could not do their mining work smoothly at such coalfaces because their heads touched the low ceilings.

Text at the Bottom Left
The small winnow or ebijoke called a hoge in Saga was used at coalfaces with low ceilings. It had no holes for grabbing, because if there were holes in it, slack coal would leak from the holes when atoyamas scooped up the coal into sleds with the winnow.

Translation Assisted by Mr. Nathan Johndro

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