To Japanese

The Pursuit of Japanese Mines and Coal Mines , 1970-2003

Yasuo Hashimoto

  In 1970 I visited the mining town of Ashio in Tochigi Prefecture for the first time to do field research collecting information for my graduation thesis, "The Ashio copper mine pollution incident and Shozo Tanaka." At the time,before its mines were closed, the town of Ashio still had the fully distinctive scenery of a mining town.
  The scenery included mine facilities such as smelteries, dressing plants, entrances to the mine pits, company housing and bald hills. I had an extremely strong impression and was extraordinarily moved by seeing the people and their everyday life and such in this town. That was my first encounter with the mining town of Ashio.
  Since then, for the past thirty years, I have been enchanted by the town of Ashio, its distinctive mining town scenery, and the rich and friendly lifestyle of the people. I have visited and will continue visiting Ashio, even after the closing of its mines. Eventually, in addition to Ashio, I have taken pictures and collected information about mines and coal mines all over Japan.
  These mines and coal mines are something strange, which has posed various kinds of problems for me. These places naturally reminded me of the histories of mines and coal mines. But, in addition, while thinking about the problems around them and the everyday life of such towns, I became aware of the fact that my own lifestyle is questionable. I think it is very natural that this kind of awareness came to me from the depth and heaviness of the history of mines and coal mines. It is not only related to the history of mines and coal mines, but also comes from thinking about the history of Japan and the people in Japan. In this sense, I am sure that mines and coal mines are not merely past relics, but important and meaningful treasures for us.
  At this poster session at Akabira City in Hokkaido, I plan to exhibit approximately ten to fifteen selected photos and informative materials about Ashio and other mines of Japan, including a map of the whole area of Ashio in its prime (1916). In addition, I will exhibit on the table other informative materials and sets of photos of other mines in Japan.
  I will be very delighted if you could have a chance to think about the relationship between the people and mines and the future through observing my exhibition about mines and coal mines which I have seen in Japan.

※ After a homepage was established, it had much grateful mail from the various ones.
There are many questions of whether I with no connection had interest in the mine,
coal mine directly in the mine why very much even in the inside.
So, publish the announcement point when it enters it in the 6th international mine history c
ongress Akabira convention, poster, session held from September 26, 2003 until the 29th in Hokkaido, Akabira City here, and it lets me take self-introduction.

In Akabira, Photo by W.Donald Smith 2003

These photographs and sentences are prohibition by the reproduction,
copy without notice and so on.

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