The works of Sakubei Yamamoto
Transport (inside the mine)

Coal Haulage with Yoke and Baskets in the First Half and Middle of the Meiji Era (1868-1912)
January 1965

Meiji Kami-chuki Sena
[Coal Haulage with Yoke and Baskets in the First Half and Middle of the Meiji Era (1868-1912)]
38.1 x 54.3 cm Painting in Watercolors and Ink

At pits mining coal by the badger-hole system (tanukibori), each carrier directly carried out coal with a yoke (sena-bo) and a pair of baskets (sena-kago) to the surface where they transferred it into larger baskets (bara).
Coal from descending coalfaces was shouldered and carried out to levels by each carrier with a yoke and baskets. The coal in the front basket was dumped into a mine car before the coal in the rear one was lifted up and dumped. If no empty mine cars arrived at levels, coal in the baskets was temporarily dumped there and stored (kabudashi). Only a few women carriers (atoyama: helper) could carry coal in this way. However, this work was too hard even for some male miners.
Both the ropes of the front and rear baskets were hung differently. It was difficult for carriers to ascend slopes without tilting the front basket more than 45 degrees. Additionally, the bent stick called a shumoku was useless if it was longer than 15 centimeters. Ones about 10 centimeters long were good to use.

Lyrics of "Gotton Bushi" Song
Oroshizoko kara fuitekuru kaze wa
sama-chan koishi to fuite kuru.

The wind from the pit bottom is blowing
as if it is missing my sweetheart.
Gotton (Clang)! (Interjected chant)

Words in the Inset
mae: front
ushiro: rear

Translation Assisted by Mr. Nathan Johndro

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