2019/02/16「Born on Hashima and watch the island until the end」- Akira Kojima

17th June 2018 Sunny,

I was planning to join the tour to Gunkanjima this afternoon
and I came from Fukuoka one hour earlier to visit Gumkanjima Digital Museum.

I lived in Hashima 24 years and left in 1974 February.
I thought I never come back again until I saw Gunkanjima Digital Museum on Internet
and I decided to donate the last ticket of passenger ship“Yugao-maru”to museum and join the tour to Hashima.

The tour ship I joined was full and arrived to Hashima soon,
the swimming pool on the island reminds me lots of memories when I was small.
I used to swimming on summer and play roller skates on winter here.

I remembered the stinky smells of oil and coal from main engine room on passenger ship“Yugao-maru”
and I was seasick on the way to Nagasaki city.

My father passed away in 1950 because of the cave in accident in coal mine.
My mother raised us up alone by worked in “Kosei” restaurant.
I could imagine that how hard my mother raised 4 children alone.
I remember that my mother worked very hard in restaurant
and my neighbors usually told us “come our home for meal anytime”.

I left Hashima when I graduated secondary school and I wanted to be a hair stylist.

I went to hair stylish school one year
and I worked in “Myo-Jyo”hair salon nearby a curry restaurant“Yu-tsuki”after I graduated.
2 years later, I changed my job to Tokyo Mitsubishi Motors.
I worked in Mitsubishi 4 years until I knew about Hashima was going to close,
I decided to go back to Hashima.

My mother was still working in “Kosei”restaurant and I wanted to know more about my hometown,
so I asked my classmate to find a electrician job in Hashima coal mine for me.

About my Job,
First, I had to go the mining office to hand in the bill and change seal and wood tag.
Then I can get a full charge cap lamp and my work uniform.
The uniform was extremely heavy that could make marks on your body.

Next, I gave back my nametag to office then wait the elevator to coal mine.
The elevator had a fluorescent lamp that temperature was about 18℃ and 90% humidity.
After I arrived to coal mine, I had to take the trolley train and walk 300m to the coalface.
It total needs 1.5 hours to the place I worked.

The coal mining start from 50m under the sea and worker were all soaked.
They had to use conveyor belt to transport the coal stone and the electric cable were until coalface.
I remembered that the mine was full of mud and muddy worker.

I was in charge of the electric connection and the maintenance of cables, telephone and trolley train

I was happy everyday because I loved my job even a 16 hours work in one day or 30 days work in a month.
Anyway, I had a good salary by hard work.

There were telephones and radio devices and few communication stations for miner.
Also we had toilet, water and evacuation drills too.

I worked on Hashima until 31th December 1973.

Hashima mine were closed on 15th January next year.
Before 27th February that the day I left Hashima, I remember that I went to Hyogo and Okayama to find a new job.

There was only happiness for me in Hashima.

I was interested in taking photos, so I took lots of photos in Hashima,
like when coal transporting ship broken, the fire accident behind the Senpuku tempo.

When I was 55 years old (after Hashima abandoned 30 years), I visited Hashima again with my alumni classmates.
I remember that we all shocked by tattered school and felt very upset.

Hashima became one of a World Heritage and a distant place for me.
Actually, I don’t want Hashima become World Heritage and I want to go inside my hometown freely.
But I am proud of the fact that I borned in Hashima and work until Hashima mine closed.


小嶋 明 Akira Kojima

Born in 1948 4th December (7/F of Building No.30)

Back to Hashima when 22 years old

Worked in Hashima mine for 2 years (Electric connection and maintenance

  • Tickets + MR Hololens Click here to reserve
  • Former Islanders Column
  • Exhibit Introduction
  • Gunkanjima no ganshowukn Online Shop
  • Gunkanjima Cruising Guide