Life is built on a niche industry.
Hey everyone, Tomeko here. How are you all?
Today, I picked something very much of personal interest to share, regardless of whether or not the item will
sell well or not, or even if it will be of interest for you or not. The heart is always unclothed. Nothing
more than honesty, that's what it is.
High Standard Jokei Gunkanjima(Hashima)
Gunkan-Jima, the Warship Island...... A desert island in the Nagasaki City in the Nagasaki Prefecture.
As the silhouette resembles that of the battleship "Tosa", it is known as the "Warship Island", but its
official name is Hashima.
It means the island at the end.
The name is very clear, yet slightly errrr... yeah. Kinda have a country town ring to it, in a Japanese
There is a rumor that it got the alias from being mistaken for a warship in the Pacific War and was bombed,
and (rest abbreviated)... but that's probably not true...
Anyway, this island Hashima. Although it's just an island at the edge, it has been known for producing
quality coal, and was prosperous as a coalmine in the Meiji era. The Yawata Steel Works was in the Kyushu as
well, so it seems it was in a pretty good location.
However, with the demand for the change of energy source being changed from coal to oil, the mines had
decided to be closed in the year 1974. Losing its purpose for existence, it became deserted, and has been
uninhabited up to this present date.
It had been put under the spotlight in recent years, due to the ruins trend / factory boom? Etc. for having
such odd name as "Warship Island", making it''s partially famous but not really...
Heart of Warship Island, the coalmine related facilities. Wonder how much of the population were working
You can easily remove the top part, and observe the underground tunnels too.
Although I hear that it basically wiped out due to the typhoon a few years back.
The white building to the left is a school. And the building that looks 3-stories high to the right is
hospital......I think, if I remember right... (remembering off the top of her head)
It's quite lovely if you think about the fact that the sea is right there, if you look out the window. Oh,
but I guess you might get bored of it if you see the view every day, I don't know.
A regular school building here in Japan are generally around 4 floors, but this one is actually a combination
of grade school + junior high, with a total of 7 floors!
And scarily enough, on a day of typhoon, apparently there were waves that came right up to the outer walls of
...a huge wave swept past... taking the kids along with it.
Right, I hope nothing of the sort ever happened, anyway. I'm sure that's what the concrete construction was
Many buildings squished together so tightly, just makes me so happy.
Excluding the school and hospital buildings, I would think most of them are apartment buildings for the
They are positioned so closed to each other that you might even be able to jump across to the neighboring
house. Actually, I get the feeling that there may have been people crazy enough to do so. (and accidentally
falling in the process).
With such density of population, I would imagine there were almost no privacy there.
I mean, at its peak, the population was over 5000. if you compare the population density, it is over 9x that
of Tokyo! How scary...
On the Warship Island, apparently there is Japan's oldest (?) concrete building.
The building lifted by the fingers... below it is a dark yellowish brown building, and that's the building
I'm talking about. ......I think. (again, off top of her head.)
This building No.30 was built in 1916, in the Taisho era! Its been over 90 years since it was built
I would think it would be so beaten by now that you would hesitate to even step foot inside, but I haven't
heard that its fully destroyed either.
Looking at the fact that they put in such technology of construction to use here, we can see how much
importance this island had back then.
Right then, I think I'll touch on the living environment of this Warship Island, to the limits of my
knowledge while I'm at it.
Firstly, the wage of the coalminers weren't very much, I hear.
But being in an environment where there weren't many ways to spend money, it seems that many were living a
relatively affluent life, financially.
For example, many of the households in Hashima possessed a television, regardless of the fact that it was
very expensive back then.
There are rumors that after the mines closed, there were people that went to the island all the way from
Kyushu, just to scavenge the televisions that were left on the island.
The facilities on the island were also very substantial.
Starting with the cinemas and tennis courts, barbers, Mah-jongg parlors etc. the amusement facilities was
quite well equipped. Plus, the public institutions such as hospital and school were there too, as well as
temple and shrines (although it seemed to have been very mix cultured), police stations and a detention
center (of a sort?) too.
Oh and just for your information, they couldn't hold funerals there, so they were buried at a the island
close by called Nakano Island.
Oh and also, it probably wasn't big, but there was a rooftop theme park on a building too.
Apparently there were slides and some other things to play with. A very children friendly place, this Warship
On a different note, the Warship Island is an island with great land-level difference, so the stairs on the
buildings were apparently very steep. Not to mention the width of the island was at a level that people could
walk from one side to the other.
If you put this in mind, it must have been alright for kids and young people, but not a very good living
environment for the old.
Lastly, I will tell you a little about the future of the Warship Island.
There are still many debates regarding the treatment of this island.
From the ruins mania, there are voices that claims the island good because it is decaying, and it will be
inelegant for it to be repaired and sustained by the hands of humans, and on other hand, the buildings lovers
voice that Japan's oldest concrete building is very precious, and it really should be preserved.
And the voices of the world heritage related are somewhat closer to the position of the latter.
However, the Hashima is located on the path of typhoons, and with fast decay of steel due to the sea breeze,
it will require that much more work to preserve a decaying building.
On a different note, this closing of the coalmines weren't so long ago, and there are still many alive that
had once lived there.
And therefore there are also voices that is against the traces of their lives being seen as some kind of
tourist attraction, just because it is an abandoned land (probably because there land also holds their
precious memories too)
We won't know if it will officially be preserved as a cultural heritage site, but I do hear that a part of
the island was opened for sightseeing around last year, so if you are interested, how about visiting the
place, while praying "excuse me for intruding" in your heart.
Personally, I like the Warship Island both as a ruins and a site of historical construction, so I purely
"Why not just customize something like the Okinotori-Island and create a
replica of the Warship Island, I'm sure it will be great both in regards to maintaining territory as well as
sightseeing spot too"
but is that unacceptable oh really darn ah well I see too bad....
By the way, this product apparently is a model reproducing the island right after the close of the coalmines,
but I personally am also interested in the appearance of the ruins at present too.
Actually, it would be even better if they released this as a plastic model kit, so that you could customize
it to your liking!
If it does get released as a plastic model, I might consider a purchase, even if that meant reducing the
Engel's coefficient rate.
Now, the only problem is where to display it...
So anyway, I've