The works of Sakubei Yamamoto
Watercolor: All Genres

Boring Blast Holes in the Mid-Meiji Era (1868-1912)
1964 - 1967

Meiji Chuki Maito Anakuri
[Boring Blast Holes in the Mid-Meiji Era (1868-1912)]
38.3 x 54.3 cm Painting in Watercolors and Ink

Text on the Right Side
1. Dynamite was used to cut the bottoms of important slope headings (nubisaki kusshin), cut through faults, or blast silicified wood covering coalfaces. It was not used for mining coal. Supposedly, not enough dynamite was manufactured at that time.
2. All of the male miners called gezainins [ex-convicts; some miners were real ex-convicts, but most of them were not] at that time acquired tattoos. Miners without tattoos were despised and labeled as unfledged. Therefore, they all got this symbolic badge of miners, enduring the pain from tattooing, except for novice workers. There were a few young miners without tattoos in pits around 1901. Tattoos were called irezumi, gaman (patience), horimono, or kurikaramonmon. This tattoo shows the original kurikaramonmon. An old book says that it shows an avatar of Mahavairocana, Acala.

Lyrics of "Gotton Bushi" Song on the Left Side
Do shiyo kai na no kono irezumi wa?
Doko no iresha ga ireta yara.
Dokkoi! Dokkoi!

What shall I do with this tattoo?
I can't remember who tattooed it.
Dokkoi! Dokkoi! (Interjected chants)

Translation Assisted by Mr. Nathan Johndro

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