The works of Sakubei Yamamoto
Labor in the Mines (repairs)

Driving Lagging
1964 - 1967

Uchikomi Narugi (Narigi)
[Driving Lagging]
38.0 x 54.2 cm Painting in Watercolors and Ink

Text at the Bottom Left
A small-scale coal pit (yama) in the western part of Tagawa City had a layer of gravel or volcanic ash 3 or 5 meters below the surface. This layer appeared in the main slope between points about 30 and 50 meters away from the pit mouth (hashirikomi). When it rained hard in the rainy season or the autumn typhoon season, muddy rain water flooded the slope and washed the gravel or ash away, causing great collapse of the roof and blockage of the slope. Since miners could not mine coal, experienced repairers were sent to repair the slope. However, only a few good repairers could enter the slope. Though they had to complete the work quickly, the repair work was very difficult, because drops of water (hitsuji: "rain" in dialect) fell from the collapsed roof as well as the rainwater collected on the bottom.

Text at the Top
The narugi (lagging) also called serigi was 180-cm-long pine wood with an end of 7 cm in diameter. It was driven tightly into the roof of the collapsed slope. This skin to skin lagging was called jigoku. If it collapsed even once, it became easy for gravel or ash slope to collapse again even if it only rained a little.

Translation Assisted by Mr. Nathan Johndro

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