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Hashima Island

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Lisa Wolfe
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« on: October 26, 2010, 01:15:41 pm »

Hashima Island



View of Hashima from the sea
Geography
Location East Asia
Country
Japan
Prefecture Nagasaki Prefecture
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Lisa Wolfe
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« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2010, 01:16:11 pm »

Hashima Island (端島?, or correctly Hashima, as -shima is Japanese for island), commonly called Gunkanjima or Gunkanshima (軍艦島; 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. It has been administered as part of Nagasaki, Nagasaki since 2005; it had previously been administered by the former town of Takashima.

Battleship Island is an English translation of the Japanese nickname for Hashima Island, Gunkanjima (gunkan meaning battleship, jima being the rendaku form of shima, meaning island). The island's nickname came from its apparent resemblance to the Japanese battleship Tosa due to its high seawalls. 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 undersea mines. They built Japan's first large concrete building (9 stories high)[1] , a block of apartments in 1916 to accommodate their burgeoning ranks of workers (many of whom were forcibly recruited labourers from other parts of Asia) and to protect against typhoon destruction. According to a South Korean commission, the island housed 500 Koreans who were forced to work between 1939 and 1945, during World War II.[2
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« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2010, 01:16:25 pm »

In 1959, the 15-acre island's population reached its peak of 5,259, with a population density was 835 people per hectare (83,500 people/km2) (216,264 people per square mile) for the whole island, or 1,391 per hectare (139,100 people/km2) for the residential district.[citation needed]

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 is called Ghost Island.[3] Travel to Hashima was re-opened on April 22, 2009 after more than 20 years of closure.

Singer-songwriter Okazaki Ritsuko was born on Hashima Island.

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« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2010, 01:17:17 pm »




Hashima(端島) Meiji-era, antique hand-tinted postcard of Nagasaki
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« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2010, 01:17:42 pm »



Buildings and the "Stairway to Hell", inside of Hashima Island
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« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2010, 01:18:50 pm »



Location of Hashima(端島)
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« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2010, 01:19:42 pm »

The island has been featured in numerous films, such as the 2003 film Battle Royale II: Requiem. The 1949 film Midori Naki Shima (The Greenless Island) was also shot on Hashima Island. The island is also the setting of the final stage in the 2005 video game killer7, where it is strictly referred to as Battleship Island. It was also referenced in the manga Midori Days and the anime Get Backers.

The video game Forbidden Siren 2 takes place at Yamijima Island, that was directly modeled after Hashima Island.

In the manga Air Gear a race takes place on this island.

The Japanese rock band B'z used the island as the location for the filming of the music video for their 2009 single "My Lonely Town" and also shot photos for the CD cover and packaging there.[4]

In 2009, the island was featured in History Channel's Life After People, episode "The Bodies Left Behind" as an example of the decay of concrete buildings after only 35 years of abandonment.[5]

The Finnish sound artist, Mika Björklund, recorded and produced the dark ambient album Gunkanjima in 2005, later released under the independent netlabel, Webbed Hand Records, on November 7, 2007 for free download.[6]

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« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2010, 01:20:08 pm »

During the 2009 Mexican photography festival FotoSeptiembre, Mexican photographers Guillaume Corpart Muller and Jan Smith, along with Venezuela photographer Ragnar Chacin showcased images from the island in the exhibition "Pop. Density 5,000/km2". The exhibit traced urban density and the rise and fall of cities around the world.[7] The Japanese Cultural Institute in Mexico used the images of Corpart and Smith in the photography exhibit, "Fantasmas de Gunkanjima", organized by Daniela Rubio, as part of the celebrations surrounding 200 Years of Diplomacy Mexico-Japan.[8]

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« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2010, 01:20:27 pm »

Current condition
The island is increasingly gaining international attention not only as one of the modern international heritages in the region, but also as the housing complex remnants in the years from Taisho Era to Showa Era. Moreover, the island has become the frequent subject of a discussion among enthusiasts for ruins.

Since the abandoned island has not been maintained, several buildings have already collapsed. Other existing buildings are subject to breakage. In this regard, however, certain collapsed exterior walls have been restored with concrete. While the island was owned by Mitsubishi Material up until 2002, it was voluntarily transferred to Takashima town. Currently, Nagasaki City possesses the island. A small portion of the island was re-opened for tourism on April 22, 2009. A full reopening of the island would require an enormous amount of money to make the premises safe, due to the aging of the buildings.

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« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2010, 01:20:45 pm »

Movement for World Heritage registration
A non-profit organization “The Way to World Heritage Gunkanjima” (represented by Doutoku Sakamoto) is proposing the designation of the Gunkanjima island as a UNESCO World Heritage site in conjunction with other “Modern Industrial Heritage Sites in Kyushu and Yamaguchi”. (This was broadcasted by TV Asahi on May 23, 2008)

The representatives of 6 prefectures and 11 cities, including Yuichiro Ito, Governor of Kagoshima Prefecture, and Genjiro Kaneko, Governor of Nagasaki Prefecture, jointly submitted to Agency for Cultural Affair a proposal for addition of “the Modern Industrial Heritage Sites in Kyushu and Yamaguchi” to the Japan’s tentative candidate list for World Heritage nomination.

In August, 2006, Ministry of Economics, Trade and Industry decided to support the World Heritage designation proposal in an attempt to promote the utilization of the Meiji-Era industrial heritage, including Hashima (Gunkanjima), as tourism resources in the Kyushu and Yamaguchi region.

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« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2010, 01:21:43 pm »

On September 26, 2008, Agency for Cultural Affairs added the “Modern Industrial Heritage Sites in Kyushu and Yamaguchi” to the Tentative Lists.

It was concluded that the property possesses outstanding universal value; the property clearly attests the intensive introduction of Western technology which served as the driving force for Japan’s rapid industrialization which had occurred in a dramatically brief period and its own industrial moderation processes.

In order for the property to be designated as a World Heritage, the following processes need to be taken. The letter of nomination that attests the value of the property is prepared. After the property is nominated by the Japanese government to UNESCO, a field investigation is made. Then the proposal is elevated to the discussion by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.
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« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2010, 01:21:48 pm »

Landing on the island
On August 23, 2005, landing was permitted to journalists only. The scene of the ruined locations on the island was broadcast in the media. Originally, Nagasaki City planned restoration of a pier, which was actually used in the past, for the prospective tourist landing in April 2008. In addition, a 220-meter-long visitor walkway was planned (Entrance to unsafe building areas is to be prohibited).

Due to the delay in development construction, however, in the end of 2007, the city announced that public access was delayed for approximately one year up until spring 2009. However, the city faced safety concerns, regarding the risk of collapse of the buildings on the island due to significant aging.

Because of the harsh weather, it was estimated that landing would only be feasible for fewer than 160 days per year. From a cost-effectiveness point of view, the city is considering relinquishment of plan for extending visitor walkway further for approximately 300 meters toward the east part of the island and approximately 190 meters toward the west part of the island after year 2009.

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« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2010, 01:22:07 pm »

Access
When people resided on the island the Nomo Shosen line offered service to the island from Nagasaki Port via Ioujima Island and Takashima Island. In 1970, 12 round trip services were available per day. It took 50 minutes to travel from the island to Nagasaki. After all residents left the island, the direct route was discontinued.

Currently, sightseeing boat trips around the island are provided by two operators; Yamasa-Kaiun from Nagasaki Port, Kyodo Co. from Nomo Island. As of April 22, 2009, the island is open once again for public visits, with Yamasa Kaiun providing transportation to the island from Nagasaki.[9]

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Lisa Wolfe
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« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2010, 01:28:00 pm »



August 2008
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Lisa Wolfe
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« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2010, 01:28:44 pm »



English: Hashima(Gunkanjima) apartment building circa 1930
日本語: 1930年頃の端島(軍艦島)の集合住宅
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