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Boring Blast Holes in the Mid-Meiji Era (1868-1912) (Two Figures)
January 1965

Meiji Chuki Maito-ana Kuri (Ni Tai)
[Boring Blast Holes in the Mid-Meiji Era (1868-1912) (Two Figures)]
37.9 x 54.2 cm Painting in Watercolors and Ink

Text at the Right End
Pit workers bored blast holes with 15.2-mm octagonal chisels of chikusako steel and they also used 18.2-mm chisels for shale. The tip of a chisel for shale was clam-shaped. For soft coal they used straight-tip chisels.
Lots of miners from a copper mine in Iyo (Ehime prefecture) moved to S Coal Pit. Some of their naya groups (units of an old laboring system recruiting and controlling workers) were called Kanayama.
Kanayama miners re-hardened the tips of their chisels by themselves and skillfully used their hammers called settos for chisels. They were good at cutting through faults. Also they behaved very well; it was very rare for them to have tattoos and they organized a mutual aid system.
The two long bar tools shown are called kyurens and used for scraping cuttings (kuriko) out from the bored hole.

Text above the Inset
Tenjo Kiriage(Boring Blast Holes in the Roof Rock)
This work was also called ageanakuri. This work was especially done by experts. In this case, it was necessary for the miner to hammer upwards strongly enough to drive the chisel held in his left hand into the rock. But one missed hammer stroke could ruin his entire left hand.

Lyrics of "Gotton Bushi" Song at the Top Left
Iyo no kanayama kane fuku oto wa
kikoemasu-masu Matsuyama ni.
Gotton! Gotton!

The sound of using bellows at the copper mine in Iyo
can be heard in the faraway town of Matsuyama.
Gotton (Clang)! Gotton! (Interjected chants)

Translation Assisted by Mr. Nathan Johndro

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