The works of Sakubei Yamamoto
Yama Living

Water Supply System in Small and Middle-scale Coal Pits (Yama)
1964 - 1967

Chu-sho Yama no Kyusui Setsubi
[Water Supply System in Small and Middle-scale Coal Pits (Yama)]
38.1 x 54.2 cm Painting in Watercolors and Ink

In the middle of the Meiji era (1868-1912), small and middle-scale coal pits had no water supply system. (By the beginning of the Taisho era [1912-1926], water supply systems were installed in most coal pits except for small-scale ones.) All the people in these coal pits used water from wells. In the rainy season, there was a lot of water in the wells, but in the dry season, the bottoms of the wells cropped out and people could not scoop up water with buckets called tsurubes. People in many coal pits could not reach water veins even though they bored for water, and people had to walk for at least 500 meters or 1 kilometer to get well water. A yoke and a pair of buckets (tago) in this picture carried about 36 liters (2 to) of water.
Children around 10 years of age went to wells to collect water for their family. Yokes to carry buckets hurt children's shoulders, and they held the yokes with both hands. A child carried about half as much water as that carried by an adult.
Holding buckets or sageos (ropes connecting yokes with buckets) with hands was bad for keeping balance and caused water to spill.

Around 1899, Sumitomo Tadakuma Coal Pit which was a large-scale coal pit had a water supply system. There was a tap for every 2 or 3 ridges of pit workers' row houses. Water was pumped up from the pit bottom. It seemed to be good water with the clear surface layer (uwazumi). The pit was generous enough to send water to the neighboring village of Minamio (included in Honami Town later).

Translation Assisted by Mr. Nathan Johndro

<<Last pictorial record    Next pictorial record>>

1 | 2 | 3 | 4|5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 |   Next 10 Items>>