Coalmine Museum in Yubari:2

by Kazu

This is the armour for the members of rescue steam in the coalmine. Top guns were selected from the well-trained and skilled workers to form the rescue team.
 High-speed and two- or three- story elevators(lifts in U.K.) were used to carry the coalmine workers to each front line of the galleries.
The elevator (lift) in the museum has a special effect of lighting to make the guests feel as if they are  actually go down to the level of minus 1,000m from the ground.
Many widows were working in coalmine because they had been left by their spouses who had passed away in the mine. 
The widows were working around the entrance of oblique galleries.
 And select the coal according to the size and quality of it.
 Japanese Era from "Taisho" to the beginning of "Showa" is the best time for coalmine industry and other businesses. 

The door-opener was a female and maybe the widow of a casualty in the coalmine.
Life expectancy of horses carrying coals in the gallery was so short and the meat was eaten up by the coalmine workers and their families. The dusts of coals erode the lungs of the workers and horses.
Electric drills began to be used in this era.
In the middle of Showa Era, the system of digging out coals were improved.
The portable pillars that can be folded and support the ceilings of the galleries were playing the main role to protect the workers but when they were folded with the smash of hummer, many workers were pressed flat by the layers and died.
The circumstances around the workers were much better in Hokkaido than in Kushu Island located in the southern part of Japan. But many workers died of the explosion in the mines and lung cancer.
These figures shows the members of the rescue team but their armours are not so dependable in the fire of the coalmines.
Left hand side is the photo of summer festival and Bon dance in Yubari City many years ago and each mine has the small shrine to pray for the safety of workers.

Headlamps and lanterns used in coalmines are exhibited in the museum, too.
This is the battery charger that has the numbers of each headlamp. The existence of the lamp means that the worker of the number had come back safe and sound.
This is the drill to dig out coals, that had been in use until the end of Showa Era.
These drainage pumps are still working even now.
This drill is like a small drum cutter.
The visitors have to go up the slope in the mine museum to exit.
This is the exit of the coalmine museum.
The first letter has dropped off from the sign and the orange colour of the coalmine shaft is still vivid in the air even now.
The layer of coal can be seen in the premises of the museum. Many school tours are arranged and the municipality of Yubari needs more visitors and citizens to keep the function.Please visit Yubari City and feel the prosperity of this industry in the past.

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