Nishiki shaft head of coalmine in Mikasa City!

 by Kazu

So sorry for failing to update this blog in the past weekend. I had to attend the reunion arranged by my former colleagues, old friend and I was swamped by my wife's requests.

The municipality of Makasa is struggling with the entry into the list of the Geopark defined by UNESCO.
This sign shows that  a shaft of the coalmine is on top of this hill. 

  We have to be on our guards during our stay in this area because so many gnats this forest may give  us a fatal bit bite and make the part swell.

  The municipality of Mikasa is planning to invite the delegation of UNESCO next year to make this area designated as a Geopark.

A Geopark is defined by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in its UNESCO Geoparks International Network of Geoparks programme as follows:
  • A territory encompassing one or more sites of scientific importance, not only for geological reasons but also by virtue of its archaeological, ecological or cultural value.
         *from wikipedia
The layers of coal are on the surface of the ground and cliff in this area. This pulley and the shaft are designated as Heritage of Industrial Modernization by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in Japan as well as the monumental shaft tower on the opposite side of Ikushunbetsu River. The coalmine company that had run this facility went bankrupt and ran away without demolishing the coalmine and making this place as it had been.
Such kinds of ruins are here and there in Sorachi sub-prefectural area of Hokkaido even now. Is it the beauty of dying out? This area is owned by Hokkaido Government and had been lent to the coalmine company. The company ran away without accomplishing its obligation. So nobody owns this ruins but they are in the premises of Hokkaido Government. Who is responsible for the safety of this area. this area should be off-limits?
Some kind of agreement will be reached between Hokkaido Government  and the municipality of Mikasa for the use of these facilities.
By the end of June in 2013, the municipality has to take off the metal fence that fell down on the ground as well as the bamboo grass around this area for the delegation from UNESCO.
 This building was filled up with the machines to roll up and down the wire of the elevators in the shaft but recently the deers around this area use it to avoid heavy snow fall in winter.
It can be said that fortunately, there are few kids around this area. So the consideration for the safety of infant terrible is not so required so far.
This building had been used as a transformer substation of electric power. Everybody around this area knew about these facilities until 50 years ago but very few people recognize its existence now. 
To make the most of these ruins for the future of the residence around this area, they have to recognize its value as the ones that had supported the economic development of Japan including Hokkaido but it may be very difficult according to the process where the Iwami Silvermine area was designated as the World Heritage by UNESCO. Outsiders recognized first the value of the facilities, culture and history.  
The beauty of ruins was "in" in Turkey and Greece and was make the most of in hot spring area et al.
How can you make it with those new ruins?
Video camera shooting of heroic action movie?
The residents of those coalmine area are beginning to recognize some kinds of virtue in these ruins. I felt that it is very difficult to share the virtue with ordinary people in Japan except for the artists, some mania and the people who feel nostalgia in these buildings.  
The citizens have to build a consensus to decide whether the municipality should exert  the staff, money and effort to obtain the designation of UNESCO. The municipality will get the chance only once.

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