Monday, January 28, 2008

Ghost town - Hashima Island, Gunkanjima, Japan

Hashima Island (meaning "Border Island"), commonly called Gunkanjima (meaning "Battleship Island") is one among 505 uninhabited islands in the Nagasaki Prefecture about 15 kilometers from Nagasaki itself. The island was populated from 1887 to 1974 as a coal mining facility. The island's most notable features are the abandoned concrete buildings and the sea wall surrounding it.

"Battleship Island" is an English translation of the Japanese nickname for Hashima Island, Gunkanjima. The island's nickname came from its apparent resemblance to a battleship, or gunkan (jima is a mutation of shima) due to its high sea-walls. It also is known as the Ghost Island. It is known for its coal mines and their operation during the industrialization of Japan. Mitsubishi bought the island in 1890 and began the project, the aim of which was retrieving coal from the bottom of the sea. They built Japan's first large concrete building, a block of apartments in 1916 to accommodate their burgeoning ranks of workers, and to protect against typhoon destruction.

In 1959, its population density was 835 people per hectare (83,500 people/km^2) for the whole island, or 1,391 per hectare (139,100 people/km^2) for the residential district, one of the highest population density ever recorded worldwide. As petroleum replaced coal in Japan in the 1960s, coal mines began shutting down all over the country, and Hashima's mines were no exception. Mitsubishi officially announced the closing of the mine in 1974, and today it is empty and bare, which is why it's called the Ghost Island. Travel to Hashima is currently prohibited.

11 comments:

PLorenz said...

...thoroughly fascinating...on certain levels, Japan is so vast and abstract. This island adds to the mystery...would love to visit and explore...

jasmine said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sean Tubbs said...

Is this a real blog, or a splog?

Paul said...

Yep, I agree with Plorenz, like a city trapped in time; would also love to visit! The Japanese tourist industry would probably get a boost from this!

Anonymous said...

How can you use my images without my authorization? Without even a credit. I'm not working for being stolen this way. Gunkanjima is a part of my work on landscape and architecture, and is part of the numerous ruins i've been visiting. The images you took from me lost their sens in my work.
I ll ask you to leave this comment and not to cancel it.

www.louiscyprienrials.com

Anonymous said...

^^^ faaaaaaaaaaaaaaag

Anonymous said...

why would you take a photographers work man?

mitch said...

they filmed battle royale 2 here

Anonymous said...

pretty cool...would love to visit as well...

Anonymous said...

Thief!

Anonymous said...

Funny how that annonymous person says this guy stole the pictures, but if you click on Gunkanjima on http://www.louiscyprienrials.com/ not one of the pictures matches.

Are there some hidden pictures some place that we can't see? Not a single one appears stolen.

Sure they are similar - because they are pictures of the same location, but they are not the same pictures. That's like me taking a picture of a cat, and someone else taking a picture of the same cat and then me accusing them of stealing my pictures.

NO, sorry. Taking pictures of the same location does not mean it's stealing.