Gunkanjima (Hashima Island) is at a distance of 18.5 km by ship from Nagasaki Port and is located ahead of Iojima, Takashima, and Nakanoshima.
The shape of Gunkanjima looks like a "warship". By land, this island is nearest to Nomozaki Peninsula, the southernmost point of the Nagasaki Peninsula.
The surrounding sea area of Gunkanjima is also known as a treasure trove of fish for fishing. It's also a dreaming place of fishermen along Goto Island.
The tide flow here is rough due to the sea is nearby. Even in light wind, the aspect of the wave could be changed completely, so careful and safe sailing operation is required.
On Gunkanjima, the “Dolphin pier” was completed after several improvements, based on the experience of the concrete being damaged and swept away several times by the typhoon.
Tokyo Area: 2,133km²/ Population: 9,683,802 people
New York Area：789km² / Population：7,781,984 people
Gunkanjima Area：0.063km² / Population：5,267 people
※ In 1960
You can still see the island's appearance on the Gunkanjima landing cruise.
TV penetration rate
Gunkanjima: almost 100%
※ In 1958
Opening date: October 11, 1957
Daily living water: about 1,000t/day
Construction period: 1 year 5 months
Pioneering was the Building No.14, a wooden 5-story building; then the entire rooftop of the Building No.16-18 were turned into gardens.
Anthracite: Carbon content of 90% or above / Calorific value: 4,500-8,000 (kcal/kg)
Bituminous coal: Carbon content of 83 to 90% / Calorific value: 4,500-7,000 (kcal/kg)
Sub bituminous coal: Carbon content of 78 to 83% / Calorific value: 4,000-6,000 (kcal/kg)
Brown coal: Carbon content of 70 to 78% / Calorific value: 2,500-4,000 (kcal/kg)
Coal Energy Center "Types of coal"
The number of elementary and junior high school students in the heyday was 1,169.
※ In 1962
Exhibition "History of thirty years in Takashima Town"
First built: The first "Dolphin Pier" in Japan, completed in 1954, was designed to withstand a wave height of 3 meters. However, it was swept away by the Typhoon No. 9 in August 1956 (the wave height recorded at that time was 7 meters).
Second pier: Rebuilt in 1958. As a result of considering the safety for the wave height of 7 meters, the main body of the dolphin was made of steel frame, the ocean floor was dug down to 9m from the low tide surface. However, it is sunk by Typhoon No. 14 in 1959. The wave height at this time is said to be 12-13m.
Third pier: Rebuilt in 1962. It was thought to be impossible but a durable dolphin pier was born by creating an artificial island 25m long, 12m wide and 15m high from the seabed. This island was created by driling 3 meters of rock on the opposite side of 15 meters from Gunkanjima . It is now used as a place for landing cruise ships on Gunkanjima.
Yugaomaru was launch in Meiji 20 (1887).
After a few years, it was put into use as a liner ship.
Thereafter, it was shuttling three times a day until the route was closed in Showa 37 (1962).
From 1893 (Meiji 26) to 1931 (Showa 6), after the sixth landfill construction, it became the current semi-artificial island from the natural coral reef.
Before that it was a small island consisting of a large reef and the surrounding area.
When they were playing baseball in a small place other than the school ground, they would enjoy making their own rules, such as having a team of three or four people.
The large hallway was just fine for a rainy day playground, and the street where the car was not passing was also a good playground.
For men, it was drinking, pachinko, mahjong, billards, go shogi (Japanese cheese), fishing. Women enjoyed shopping, fashion and and neighborhood gossip meetings. In addition, there was a playground for adult men.
The “Purchasing Association” sold food, clothing, cosmetics, cigarettes, watches, household goods, etc., where daily necessities are cheaper than market prices. At the shops of the Hashima Consumers' cooperatives, which faced Hashima Ginza, there had sales campaigns for health equipment.
From outside of the island, craftsmen and goldfishers who worked on repairing scissors and umbrellas also came there.
The medical system was 9 doctors, 14 nurses and 1 pharmacist.
The bed was increased to 58 floors, with isolated beds for tuberculosis and infectious diseases. Regular medical examinations were also held.
A high-rise reinforced concrete apartment and a wooden building coexisted, but mostly wooden buildings were fired.
Although the rent was about 10 yen, water and utility expenses were free, but in 1948 (Showa 23) the labor union demanded to be paid an amount of 25 yen per person.After the conclusion of the agreement, in the following year, Hashima residents received an allowance of 32 yen for a working day. It was the industry's first unique allowance.
In addition to living expenses and necessary expenses, there were also lots of money that could be spent, and people on Gunkanjima were very fashionable. It's said that some women went to the island's hair salon once a week.
Amakawa is an adhesive, it's a mix of lime and red clay used as glue for stones. This seawall construction method is called "Amakawa method".
A 10 meters high and 2 meters wide seawall was completed by arranging and holding natural stones together with "amakawa"
Some of Amakawa seawalls still remain, and you can see them on the Gunkanjima landing cruise.
In the picture, "An Amakawa seawall was destroyed in a disaster"
The big waves are one of the characteristics of Gunkanjima.
Even women also enjoyed the big waves, it is said that they were not able to become real islanders if they were afraid of the typhoon.
A wave of more than 10 meters in height flooded the street between Building No.59-61 and Building No.65. The tide water turned into salt crystals by the sun.
Due to the fact that the Building No.59-61 were easy to be harmed by typhoons and salt damage, they were built at the right angle to the seawall, and there's no fence or window on their wall were countermeasures to deal with the tide.
The attractions such as the ritual sumo match and the dedication dance were held in Showakan (a movie theater). Highlight of the festival was Mikoshi (a miniature shrine), after receiving the prayer from the God of Hashima Shrine, the young people carried it on their shoulder and took it around the island.
Only in 1957 (Showa 32) the festival was held in May, a month later than usual, for those who were depressed by the large fires of Typhoon No. 9 and 12 in the previous year.
There was a worship hall in Hashima Shrine which was built to enshrine the Mountain God, unfortunately it collapsed. Only small shrine remains now.
The sports day was held at the school grounds on November 3rd. The islanders were enthusiastic about the competition between teams divided by living area and workplace.
The cultural festival was held in November for four days in the gymnasium and public hall, where paintings, flowers and books were exhibited.
With the long and complicated staircase, you might feel short of breath on the climbing way, so it was named as "Jigokudan". It was also a marathon course at Hashima Junior High School.
The other main passage stair was "50 steps" leading to the square of Building No.57
It is completed in 1927 (Showa 2). The exterior of the building was decorated with bricks and was a modern construction at that time.
More than 30 movies were shown every month. It was closed at the beginning of the 1940s when the popularity of movie had been fallen. Thereafter, it was used as a meeting place and table tennis court.
It became the main street of the island. Everyone came here not only to enjoy shopping but also to meet together.
It's a means to tie between the liners and the pier until the dolphin pier was made.
The 3 boatmen carried about 20 passengers a ride and took the boat to land at the pier.
The landing was also possible in stormy weather, but it was difficult to land on strong winds and rainy days, especially for women because on a blowy day the skirts are easy to blow up in the wind, it could be an "embarrassed" landing day.
"Saotori" is a quick-working, fast-moving, young worker's job. It was also known as "pin-off" because of the loading and unloading of pins connecting trains.
Basically, in one workplace, there were from 2 - 3 Ushiroyama to several Ushiroyama worked together under the instruction of a Sakiyama.
The "Sakiyama" who had skilled workmanship that considered to be standard was called "Osakiyama"