The works of Sakubei Yamamoto
Watercolor: All Genres

People at Coal Pits (Yama) in the Old Days (Brave Woman Miner Cutting Coal Alone)
1964 - 1967

Mukashi no Yamabito (Yufu no Kiridashi)
[People at Coal Pits (Yama) in the Old Days (Brave Woman Miner Cutting Coal Alone)]
38.0 x 54.4 cm Painting in Watercolors and Ink

When a hewer (sakiyama) took a sudden day off, his wife helper (atoyama) sometimes bravely mined coal alone. Overprotected ladies could not do such hard work. It was very difficult work that only strong women could do.

Note: In the old days, a pair of workers was called hitosaki or sashi, a team of three people was called san-nin moyai, and all work done by a worker was called kiridashi. One worker had to fill two roles of a sakiyama and an atoyama in kiridashi. However, one worker only had to mine half of the coal that a pair mined, and even a single woman could do that work. (It was possible only in small coal pits.)

Lyrics of "Gotton Bushi" Song
Kunya kunya otoko wa hanetobasareru,
noru ni norarenu hi no kuruma.

Soft and weak men will be ignored by her,
because she has such a furious temper,
like a fiery vehicle that no man can ride.
Gotton (Clang)! (Interjected chant)

Translation Assisted by Mr. Nathan Johndro

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