Coalmine Museum in Yubari:2

by Kazu

This is the armour for the members of rescue steam in the coalmine. Top guns were selected from the well-trained and skilled workers to form the rescue team.
 High-speed and two- or three- story elevators(lifts in U.K.) were used to carry the coalmine workers to each front line of the galleries.
The elevator (lift) in the museum has a special effect of lighting to make the guests feel as if they are  actually go down to the level of minus 1,000m from the ground.
Many widows were working in coalmine because they had been left by their spouses who had passed away in the mine. 
The widows were working around the entrance of oblique galleries.
 And select the coal according to the size and quality of it.
 Japanese Era from "Taisho" to the beginning of "Showa" is the best time for coalmine industry and other businesses. 

The door-opener was a female and maybe the widow of a casualty in the coalmine.
Life expectancy of horses carrying coals in the gallery was so short and the meat was eaten up by the coalmine workers and their families. The dusts of coals erode the lungs of the workers and horses.
Electric drills began to be used in this era.
In the middle of Showa Era, the system of digging out coals were improved.
The portable pillars that can be folded and support the ceilings of the galleries were playing the main role to protect the workers but when they were folded with the smash of hummer, many workers were pressed flat by the layers and died.
The circumstances around the workers were much better in Hokkaido than in Kushu Island located in the southern part of Japan. But many workers died of the explosion in the mines and lung cancer.
These figures shows the members of the rescue team but their armours are not so dependable in the fire of the coalmines.
Left hand side is the photo of summer festival and Bon dance in Yubari City many years ago and each mine has the small shrine to pray for the safety of workers.

Headlamps and lanterns used in coalmines are exhibited in the museum, too.
This is the battery charger that has the numbers of each headlamp. The existence of the lamp means that the worker of the number had come back safe and sound.
This is the drill to dig out coals, that had been in use until the end of Showa Era.
These drainage pumps are still working even now.
This drill is like a small drum cutter.
The visitors have to go up the slope in the mine museum to exit.
This is the exit of the coalmine museum.
The first letter has dropped off from the sign and the orange colour of the coalmine shaft is still vivid in the air even now.
The layer of coal can be seen in the premises of the museum. Many school tours are arranged and the municipality of Yubari needs more visitors and citizens to keep the function.Please visit Yubari City and feel the prosperity of this industry in the past.

Michelin's Guide Book recommends Horoshin Onsen in Numata!

 by Kazu

In spite of the damage brought by heavy snow this winter, rice planting has begun even in Numata Town where hectic amount of snow hit the greenhouse for rice seedlings.
 The rice fields are filled with water and rice planting is done with tractors.
This is the buckwheat noodle restaurant that was recommended on Michelin's Guide Book issued in Japan this year. The name is "Ashimoe". The restaurant is in the building of Hotel HOTARU-KAN in Horoshin District of Numata Town.
HOTARU means light-emitting insect that can be seen this area in summer.
 Inside the restaurant is so tidy and the users have to buy the tickets to eat in this restaurant.
The best buy is buckwheat noodle soup but other kind of cuisine can be recommended strongly. 
 Japanese style tables on tatami is so nice to relax after soaking in the bath of hot spring.
Many citizens of Numata Town use this restaurant after enjoying the quality hot spring of this spa.
 The menu is so common as the typical Japanese restaurant.
The mayor of the Town Mr. Kanehira has something to say to the buckwheat noodle provided by this restaurant because he is the instructor of making soba noodle, buckwheat noodle and has the  school to teach making soba noodle in this town .
 I am not sure what degree has been given to the restaurant by Mr.Kanehira but the quality of buckwheat powder is excellent and this soba dish jog my memory.
Yes, the taste is that I experienced when I was taught how to made buckwheat noodle from scratch by Mr.Kanehira in last winter.
 The soup to soak the noodle was the work of master degree.
On top of the restaurant, this rice cracker flavoured with soy sauce and special spice is strongly recommended by the mayor.

I introduced this hotel before but the photo from this angle was not on this blog. The outside baths for males and females are on this side.
The greenhouse for raising light-emitting insects is adjacent to the hotel as well as the nice camping site with many other kinds of insects which make the kids enthusiastic!


Coalmine Museum in Yubari City:1

by Kazu

These are the photos of coalmine workers in Yubari City. The photo are exhibited in Coalmine Museum in Yubari City. It is a good place to visit to learn the realty of hard workers who supported Japan developing to become the members of group of 8 that has Summit Conference every year.
 On top of that, considering the situation of coalmine workers in those days may be a good occasion to think of our choice of energy we depend on.

Each public bath was run by the coalmine company and the workers could use the bath for free.
 Three or more bathtubs were in each public bath and the order to soak was decided because it was tough call  to wipe off the dust of coal from their body at once, on top of their hard work under the ground.
 The first bathtub they soak in was completely black, the second one is  coloured gray and the third is transparent.
Their apartments didn't have the bath in order to unite the workers and build up the solidarity by make them use the same public bath and talk together.   
Of course, that tactic had the downside for the company. The labour union had so strong power to negotiate with the company. But that was naturally required to workers and their families.
The welfare system of coalmine workers and their family was not been established at that time so they built up the special relationship to support each other. It was like the Japanese clandestine organization and share the alcoholic drink, Japanese sake with the same cup as a ritual 

 The galleries of the coalmine were supported by the wooden frames .
To raise the trees for these frames, the area where New Chitose International Airport is located was used in those days.

to be continued


If I had any kids, the kindergarten would be fine to raise them!

by Kazu

I have introduced the park and kindergarten before.
The name of the park is Arte Piazza Bibai. It is located in the suburb of Bibai City facing to mountainous area.
 Mr.Kan Yasuda, the sculptor born in Bibai City visits his hometown once a year and gives some directions to maintain the concept of this park and the kindergarten.
His works can be seen here and there in the park where many kids and families visit all the year round.
The circumstances in the park are so nice that the kindergarten in it is so popular that it may requires the parents of kids a harsh competition to let them enter. 
I have no kids but can imagine easily that the kids in this kindergarten can have happy infancy in this area with their families and friends.
 The kindergarten is in the building built as a grade school. The grade school had abolished and the
 building of the school had got the second wing to carry the kids in their infancy. 
  What do they think of the sculptures in their kindergarten and the park ?
What can they get out of the place for their happiness?
Even at the pace of stairs, some objects are placed as they were born on the spot. 
 Different from weekday, it is very calm in the building. Just the floor of the aisle is squeaking with the dreamy melody of birds.
The works of Mr.Yasuda are existing there actually but they are mixed with a kind of nostalgia and colour the memories of ourselves.
 Those sculptures are made of marble and unbreakable even by the enfant-terrible.
It is not the result of the work of kids with the desire of destroying.
 I think it shows the bud of a plant but I am not sure.
 The handle of the earth?
The cafeteria in the park was introduced by myself and these logs are for the stove in the cafeteria. I love the smell  of woods.
 Can you remember the cafe?
This is like the head of sperm whale.

The countenance of the park and the sculptures changes in a day, in season, in years.

The trail near the cafe has some bells to avoid bear attack.
Can you remember the time we share in this park, Norm ?
I will send you email soon.