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Underground Survey in the Mid-Meiji Era (1868-1912)
February 1965

Meiji Chuki Kentori
[Underground Survey in the Mid-Meiji Era (1868-1912)]
38.3 x 54.3 cm Painting in Watercolors and Ink

The underground survey called a kentori was done two times a month. The volume of completed work at important places and headings underground, which were newly driven or repaired by the undertaker, was surveyed on these days.
At small or middle-scale coal pits, the pit foreman also entered the pit on these days (for supervision). The mining section manager (chief) and, of course, the surveyor, if the mine had one, as well as other executives entered together. The underground boss responsible for the heading had a hectic day. His achievements or efforts were not commended, but he got told off if it was discovered he had a mistake.
They surveyed the depth of the nobisaki (heading) of a passage way to its kiritsume (end) and marked the letter "Ki '' called a ken on a frame leg or pillar after stepping back. If the letter was marked on the wall, it would be erased by blasting. A benchmark marked with limewater would easily fade away.
A tape measure was also used in the survey. However, a metal chain measure made of links with a diameter of 5 sun (about 15 centimeters) was also used in the past.

Text at the Top Left
The standard coal pit had three pit mouths; one for a main slope, one for an upcast, and one for a man way slope. But most small coal pits stopped constructing man way slopes halfway and their man ways branched in all directions. Their workers had to use the main slope to get to their coalfaces.
In 1945, it was decided that emergency evacuation areas had to be placed every 30 meters in a main slope.
In large-scale coal pits with man cars, slopes for return air were used as substitute man ways, and usual man ways were used for winding up mine cars in order to ease work in main slopes.

Words at the Bottom Left
"Shanto hippattee!" "Pull it tight!"

Words in the Inset
Yama ni yori ichikata o ichinubi to yu tokoro mo atta.
Ichikata (No. 1 level) was called ichinubi in some coal pits.

Tancho Kiriha Goban-me Saikutsuho Zan-tanchu-shiki
Pillar System of Coal Mining by Driving Single Coalfaces and Leaving Coal Pillars in a Grid-like Pattern

honsen oroshi: main slope
hidari ichikata: No. 1 level left
hidari nikata: No. 2 level left
hidari sankata: No. 3 level left
migi ichikata: No. 1 level right
migi nikata: No. 2 level right
oroshi nubi: slope heading
haiki oroshi: upcast: return air way
kiriha: coalface
o-nubi: wide level heading
ko-nubi: narrow passageway heading
fudo: air way
kanekata: level
hoan tanchu: safety coal pillar

Translation Assisted by Mr. Nathan Johndro

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