The works of Sakubei Yamamoto
Yama Living

Pit Workers and Their Fuels in the Meiji Era (1868-1912) #1 (Coke Making Place)
1964 - 1967

Meiji Yamabito to Nenryo #1 (Garayakiba)
[Pit Workers and Their Fuels in the Meiji Era (1868-1912) #1 (Coke Making Place)]
38.2 x 54.3 cm Painting in Watercolors and Ink

It may sound a little strange when you hear that pit workers in the Meiji era could not get enough fuel though they mined coal. Though it is not clear if they did not know how to make coke from fine dust coal or if there was no dust coal to use, coke was never made from dust coal until around 1919. Therefore, coke was made from second class washed coal at that time. However, this coal was mainly used for boilers and was not used enough to make coke.
Mine owners sometimes managed to distribute this coal to miners, but it was not supplied enough for every family to burn and make coke. Coke making places were far from miners' row houses. Carrying baskets full of heavy coke was very hard work for women and children.

Translation Assisted by Mr. Nathan Johndro

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