COLUMN

2018/08/01「The hometown that shining my heart」- Nobuko Uchisiba

The place (Hashima) I was born in is a 18km far away small island from Nagasaki.

In 1810, a small rock reef island found out some combustible stones (coal).
In 1890 (Meiji 23 in Japan) , Mitsubishi in Japan started coal mining on the island.


After start coal mining,
The small island buried by some useless rock became a circumference 1.2km island.
And the island became a dollar box for Mitsubishi because of good quality coal stone (Bituminous coal).


My home was on the high ground of Hashima.
I can enjoy the rising sun Nomozagi (in Nagasaki) eariler,
then see the sun sink in Goto seas and makes the sea shining from my house.
It was really a great time.
I still remember the Kabashima lighthouse told me the time of midnight.


My father was a Construction Manager for machine inside the mine,
also in charge of maintenance of the wire rope for elevators.
Although he was exempted from military service because of this job,
his job was hard as military service cause government ordered increased coal production.


I always say " 御安全に (Keep safe) " to my father when he went to work.
Also other families on island are all saying " 御安全に (Keep safe) ".
Because they hope no more accident on island,
so " 御安全に (Keep safe) " became a morning greeting on Hashima.


When I was year 1 in elementary school in summer,
one of a coal transporting ship was attacked by an American submarine and our school was damaged.
The fear of war makes me can't forget the "B29" Super fortress flying on sky and the pilot's red flying glasses.
Even the concrete building wall turn to all black because of the explosion.


The atomic bomb exploded in Nagasaki city when I was 8 years old, year 2 in elementary school.
I was at home and trying to cook my lunch, I hear the mirror near the door was broken.
Then I went outside to take a look, I saw the sky were all pink and turn to gray cloud.


After the war, I wished the weather could be good because I joined the school trip.
Maybe our teachers considered about the distance of the trip,
So they decided to go to the catchment area in “To machi”in Nagasaki and the seafront of Nomozagi.
We went to the trip by ship “Yugao-maru” ( first iron in Japan ) in one day by 3 times of full seat.


At last, I heard Hashima called “Gunkanjima” now and become travel spot and a dollar box of Nagasaki city.
But for us that who has good memories on Hashima,
We wished the island can weathering with silence.


Profile:
内芝 伸子 (旧姓:大場)Nobuko Uchisiba (Old last name:Oba)
Born in 1937 (Showa 12 in Japan)
Lived in Hashima around 19 years
Lived in No.8 Building
Father was Construction Manager for machine inside the mine.

 

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