The works of Sakubei Yamamoto
Disasters and Lynchings

Mine Car Accident in the Pit (Yama)
April 1967

Yama no Kosha Jiko
[Mine Car Accident in the Pit (Yama)]
37.7 x 53.8 cm Ink Painting

Text at the Bottom Right
This painting shows an accident in the main slope caused by a reverse run (gyakuso) of mine cars, which was also called a runaway. In this case, miners said, "hako ga hashitta." Some witty miner called the mine car accident a "seiyo kurashi (western life)." It was probably because he thought that such accidents should not occur in an eastern country like Japan.

Text at the Top Left
Runaway mine cars were caused by break failure, wire rope breakage, separation of wire rope and its socket, twist of the connecting chain, rise of the connecting pin (taka pin/tsuri pin), coming off of the connecting pin, connecting chain breakage, drawbar breakage, and downing of mine cars by pushing them (oshioroshi).
Mine cars frequently reversed, going out of control, starting from the steep slope of the hashirikomi (slope between the pit mouth and the main slope). They made thundering noises and sparked like fireworks because of the friction between their wheels and rails. Miners were at a loss as to what to do with the broken mine cars heaped up after breaking and laying down support units in the slope.
Miners could be killed in such an accident. Mine cars would often be derailed from rail defects or on the switch called an ipponken at the entrance to a level.

Translation Assisted by Mr. Nathan Johndro

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