The works of Sakubei Yamamoto
Watercolor: All Genres

The Meiji-Era (1868-1912) Coal Bed
January 1965

Meiji Jidai (Tanso)
[The Meiji-Era (1868-1912) Coal Bed]
38.3 x 54.3 cm Painting in Watercolors and Ink

Text at the Top Right
In addition to cross grain or straight grain textures, coal beds near faults (gakkuri), sometimes had another feature called a kaburime, whose upper part (by the roof) overhung. A similar feature called a shirisashime projected outwards at the base of the coalface. Each texture of these coal beds was about 10 cm thick, and many of such layered textures were peeled off one by one during mining. The surface of each texture was as smooth as painted boards.

Text at the Top Left
Novice sakiyamas (hewers) sometimes were surprised at the appearance of such grain, thinking that they had reached a fault face. Since these textures were softer than others, hewers could mine them efficiently by mining the faces evenly (tsuradori) without undercutting them (sukashibori).

Lyrics of "Gotton Bushi" Song
Tsuru wa kankozuru sakiyama nenki (wakazo),
atomukya tedezo (bonyari) de isha deranu. Gotton!

The pickax is dull, the sakiyama (hewer) using it is young and green,
and his atomuki (helper) is tactless, so they won't mine much coal.
Gotton (Clang)! (Interjected chant)

Note: The kankozuru is a small pickax with a single pointed head.

Lettering in the Main Figure
Kaburime Sokumen: side view of an overhanging cross grain

Lettering in the Inset
Shirisashime Sokumen: side view of a bottom-projecting cross grain

Translation Assisted by Mr. Nathan Johndro

<<Last pictorial record    Next pictorial record>>

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9|10 |   Next 10 Items>>