The works of Sakubei Yamamoto
Other work at the yama

Small and Middle-scale Coal Pits in the Meiji Era (1868-1912): Smithy/Smiths
June 1967

Meiji no Chu-sho Yama: Kajiya
[Small and Middle-scale Coal Pits in the Meiji Era (1868-1912): Smithy/Smiths]
37.7 x 54.0 cm Painting in Watercolors and Ink

Text at the Top Left
Regardless of the scale of the pit, where there was a pit, there were chimneys and factories. There were no small-scale coal pits without any smithies, even if they had few facilities.
Fire makers called yokozas were the leaders (sakiyama) among smiths and had the highest standing in the smithies. Iron heaters (kaneyaki) stood next to fire makers. There were also hammerers (sakite) called muko-uchis. When hammering was done by a sakite, his hammering rhythm sounded like "Bang-clank!" When hammering was done by two sakites, they hammered alternately and their hammering rhythm sounded like "Bang-bang-clank-clank!" "Clank-clank!" sound was the sound made by the yokoza's hammer with which he beat out the rhythm. When hammering, the yokoza never directed his coworkers to hammer lightly, stop hammering, etc. with words, but with the beat of his hand hammer.

Text at the Bottom Left
Sakites also called bangos or muko-uchis at smithies could work in a short-sleeved shirt, but yokozas and kaneyakis could not work without wearing a long-sleeved shirt because they had to directly treat fire or heated iron.
(The large hammer in each sakite's hands was called a bonkoshi.)

Translation Assisted by Mr. Nathan Johndro

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