The works of Sakubei Yamamoto
Labor in the Mines (repairs)

Cribbing with Bamboo Hoops Filled with Rock Debris in the Early Showa Era (1926-1989)
February 1965

Showa Shoki Bota Wa-kozumi
[Cribbing with Bamboo Hoops Filled with Rock Debris in the Early Showa Era (1926-1989)]
38.2 x 54.3 cm Painting in Watercolors and Ink

Some pieces of lagging were driven inside some Moso bamboo hoops 1.5 meters in diameter and lined with the edges of the hoops to make a large cage-like pillar (wa-kozumi). Big masses of debris (bota) were put along the inside rim of the cribbing first, and then small masses of debris were put in the middle. This picture shows such a scene at Nittetsu Inatsuki Coal Pit.
On July 1, 1928, factories and mines throughout the country started Safety Week. At Inatsuki Coal Pit, groups were organized to improve disaster prevention, and pit workers started to wear safer clothes underground. They were required to wear safety caps, jumpers, pants, gaiters, pairs of jikatabis (rubber-soled split-toe socks), gloves, and so on. Working without clothes in pits was prohibited, and miners came to be directed under strict rules thereafter.
From 1933 female pit workers were banned from entering the pit, though Inatsuki Coal Pit had already prohibited them from entering the pit in December, 1928. Therefore, though there were still female pit workers in the days shown in this picture, I painted only male workers here. Since the slopes in large-scale coal pits were very deeply driven, it was impossible for women to work there, pulling sleds.

Translation Assisted by Mr. Nathan Johndro

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