The works of Sakubei Yamamoto
Yama Children

Children in Coal Pits (Yama) in the Meiji Era (1868-1912) #8: Girls Skipping Rope
1964 - 1967

Meiji Chuki Yama no Kodomo #8: Joshi Tsunatobi
[Children in Coal Pits (Yama) in the Meiji Era (1868-1912) #8: Girls Skipping Rope]
25.5 x 35.5 cm Painting in Watercolors and Ink

Three girls skipped rope in turn after deciding who would go first.
Nayas or pit workers' houses were lined so close together that there were few spaces for children to play. If there was space, it was often used for burning namaishi (bituminous coal) to make ishigara [gara/coke: coal roasted and removed its impurities not to smell or smoke when it was burned for use at home] and children could not freely use it. Even though adults tried to keep children out from these spaces, girls enjoyed skipping rope despite the smoke and ash. Thus, such a girl was called a funtan hime [funtan: coal dust; hime: girl/princess] or gara hime.

Translation Assisted by Mr. Nathan Johndro

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