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Hashima Island’u49 mitsubishi heavy mysterious, desolate landscape. Gunkanjima’, off the South-West coast of Japan in Nagasaki Prefecture.
The aim of this site is to give you an advanced introduction into where you are able to explore within the island, adding context and back-story to Google’s amazing street-view photography. Hashima island is one of the 505 uninhabited islands in Nagasaki Prefecture off of the South West coast of Japan, standing at 61,000 square metres in size. But the island was not always uninhabited, as it was once home to a major coal mining operation managed by Mitsubishi, at its peak, housing 5,259 people which resulted in a staggering 83,500 people per square kilometre, making it one of the most densely populated places in world history. The island is also known as ‘Battleship Island’, named after its external appearance and unique silhouette.
Mitsubishi took control of the island in 1890 after its first inhabitation 3 years earlier, and began its relentless coal mining operation which lasted well beyond two world wars, and almost a century of memories before suddenly fading into history in 1974. 74 when Mitsubishi announced the closure of operation. All else that remains is lost history, to be lived all over again. It is not endorsed by or sponsored by Google, merely a showcasing of both their fantastic map and street view applications as well as Google Chrome’s various in-browser technologies. You stand now on the fourth floor of the Nikkyu company flats for miners, built after the first World War from reinforced concrete, standing at 9 stories high and holding 241 rooms. Apartment complexes like these continued being created to the point where the island had more than 30 concrete buildings. As a result of these efforts, Hashima’s annual coal production reached a peak of 410,000 tons in 1941.