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History of Gunkanjima (Hashima)

Figure of Hashima in around 1862


Coal was discovered on Hashima.
At that time, Hashima was just a shelf of bare aqueous rocks. Fishermen called it Isohori, the place where coal was mined coal.


1887 (Meiji 20)

May 26

Construction of Yugaomaru was completed at Nagasaki shipyard. (Yugaomaru sailed between Nagasaki, Takashima, and Hashima until the company ship was decommissioned in March 31, 1962.) The first shaft was opened. (It was 44 meters in depth. Coal mining continued until the shaft was closed due to a pit fire in 1897.)

1890 (Meiji 23)

Mitsubishi bought Hashima Coal Mine for 100,000 yen from Magorokuro Nabeshima. Hashima Coal Mine became a subsidiary coal mine of Takashima under the management of Mitsubishi. Coal mining started in the following year.

1891 (Meiji 24)

A distilled water machine was installed. Supplies of drinking water to individual houses and salt production started.

1893 (Meiji 26)

November 3

Work to open a second shaft started.
Mitsubishi held an opening ceremony for a company primary school.

1895 (Meiji 28)

The second shaft was opened.

1896 (Meiji 29)

The third shaft was completed.

1897 (Meiji 30)

The first landfill was created.
There was a pit fire in the first shaft. It was abandoned because it was flooded with water when extinguishing the fire.

1899 (Meiji 32)

The second landfill was created.

1900 (Meiji 33)

The third landfill was created.

1901 (Meiji 34)

The fourth landfill was created.

1907 (Meiji 40)

Laying of submarine electric cables between Takashima and Hashima was completed. The fifth landfill was created.

1911 (Meiji 44)

Winding machines powered by a combination of electricity and steam where introduced to the second and third shafts.。


1916 (Taisho 5)

Osaka Asahi Shinbun reported that Hashima looked like a huge naval ship with two funnels.
The first four-story RC apartment (No. 30) in Japan was completed.

1917 (Taisho 6)

Laying of the first submarine cable between Futago and Hashima was completed, and power transmission was started.

1918 (Taisho 7)

Construction of nine-story RC apartments (No. 16 to 20) to provide company housing for day workers was completed.
Power transmission for the submarine cable laid in 1917 (Taisho 6) was changed from direct to alternating current. Conversion from steam to electric power was almost completed. Not only machinery (discharge pumps, etc.) inside the pit but also machinery plants and other facilities outside the pit started to use electric power.

1921 (Taisho 10)

Nagasaki Nichinichi Shinbun coined the expression Gunkanjima (Battleship Island) for Hashima.

1922 (Taisho 11)

Landing pier (crane system) was completed.

1925 (Taisho 14)

May 21

The fourth shaft (370 m in depth) was completed. It was used mostly for exhausting air. It was also used as a replacement for the second shaft when it had a problem. It was mined until the pit was closed.

1926 (Taisho 15)

Distilled water produced in the saltery of the coal pit was used as drinking water for Hashima.
The amount of water distilled each day was about 340 koku. There were seven distilled water reservoirs.


1927 (Showa 2)

A movie theater (Showakan) was opened.

1930 (Showa 5)


The depth of the second shaft was increased. Excavation started. Its depth reached 606 m, making it the deepest shaft in Japan at that time.


The west coast was heavily damaged by a typhoon.

1931 (Showa 6)

Yugaomaru started service as a company ship.
The sixth landfill was created. (It occupied almost the same area as Hashima today)

1932 (Showa 7)


Mishimamaru, a water supply ship, was launched.
The third shaft stopped hoisting coal.

1933 (Showa 8)


The pier was modified into a steel loading pier.

1934 (Showa 9)

Excavation of the second shaft was completed. (636 m in depth)

1935 (Showa 10)

Both Takashima and Hashima decommissioned their salteries.
The third shaft was decommissioned.

1936 (Showa 11)


Construction of Hashima Shrine was completed.
The second shaft started operation. It continued as the main shaft until the mine was closed.


Electric trolleys entered service in the mine at the bottom of the second shaft.

1937 (Showa 12)

The company's kindergarten was opened on the roof of Building No. 20.

1941 (Showa 16)

Annual production reached 411,100 tons, a record high coal output.

1942 (Showa 17)

A fire occurred at the opening of the second shaft.

1944 (Showa 19)

Construction of Hokokutai (Building No. 65) was completed.

1945 (Showa 20)

Hakujyumaru was sunk by a torpedo when it was loading coal.
Futago Power Station was bombed by the US Air force. The lower portions of two mines were flooded.

1947 (Showa 22)

A public phone was installed.

1949 (Showa 24)

Hashima is introduced nationwide by a movie "the island without green".

1953 (Showa 28)

Construction of Takahama Village Hashima Nursery School was completed.
A nursery school with an area of 338.25 m2 was constructed on the roof of Apartment No. 65. It opened with the number of children limited to 150.

1954 (Showa 29)

August 27

Construction of Hashima Dolphin Pier was completed. (First phase of construction)
It is said that this pier was the first in Japan that could withstand waves of three meters in height.

1955 (Showa 30)

Takashima-mura Hashima and Takashima-cho were merged to form Takashima-cho Hashima.

1956 (Showa 31)

August 15

Hashima was seriously damaged by Typhoon No. 9.
Dolphin Pier, the quay side in the southern area, and Hashima swimming pool were destroyed.

1957 (Showa 32)

April 1

Buildings of Hashima Elementary School and Junior High School were burned down. Hashima Shaft Hospital and company housing No. 65 were burned down as the fire spread. Nineteen houses and 81 people fell victim to the fire.

October 5

Construction of Hashima Elementary School and Junior High School was completed.

October 12

Construction of submarine water supply works was completed. Asagaomaru, water supply ship, was decommissioned.

1958 (Showa 33)

March 8

Restoration of Hashima Shaft Hospital was completed.


A swimming meet was held to celebrate the opening of Hashima South Swimming Pool.

November 9

Construction of Hashima Dolphin Pier was completed. (Second construction)

1959 (Showa 34)

September 17

Typhoon No. 4 hit the area. Dolphin Pier, plantation pier, and the sea wall were seriously damaged.

1961 (Showa 36)

Tsuyamaru and Seimaru began service.

1962 (Showa 37)

March 7

Construction of Hashima Dolphin Pier (third construction) was completed. (The pier still exists.)

March 31

Yugaomaru was decommissioned.

1963 (Showa 38)

A tree-planting campaign was started. Soil was transported from Takashima and flowerbeds and vegetable gardens were created on roofs and empty land.


1970 (Showa 45)

March 1

Construction of the gymnastic hall, martial arts room, and school kitchen of Hashima Elementary School and Junior High School was completed.

1964 (Showa 39)

Construction of Hashima City Hall was completed.

1973 (Showa 48)

February 6

A major fire occurred on Hashima. Wooden building No. 24 was burned down, apartment No. 31 was partially destroyed as the fire spread, one person was burned to death, 43 houses were destroyed and 137 people fell victim to the fire.

1974 (Showa 49)

January 15

Hashima Pit was closed. A coal mine closing ceremony was held.

March 31

Closing ceremonies for Hashima branch, other facilities, Hashima Elementary School, and Junior High School were held.

April 20

The evacuation of Hashima was completed. Hashima became a deserted island.

1975 (Showa 50)


The Japan Coast Guard installed the Hizen Hashima Lighthouse on Hashima.


2001 (Heisei 13)

Mitsubishi Materials Corporation donated Hashima to Takashima-cho.

2005 (Heisei 17)

Nagasaki city and Takashima-cho were merged. Nagasaki city, Takashima-cho, Hashima was created.

2009 (Heisei 21)


As part of the Modern Industrial Heritage Sites in Kyushu and Yamaguchi, Hashima was added to the Japan's Tentative List of World Heritage Sites.


Landing was permitted.

2015 (Heisei 26)


Takashima coal mine mark (Takashima kitakeiikouato, Nakanoshima coal mine remains and Hashima coal mine remains) will be a national designation historical site.

2015 (Heisei 27)

As an asset among the Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution: Kyushu-Yamaguchi and Related Areas, an application was made for Hashima to be registered as a World Heritage Site.