The Dark Past of Ghost Island

Thousands of people used to live here, and it was the most densely populated place in the WORLD. But now, NO ONE lives here. Buildings made of concrete are crumbling and collapsing.

It has many names: “Battleship Island (Senkanjima)”, “Jail Island” or “Hell Island”, but it is often called “Ghost Island”, or it’s real name, “Hashima Island”.

This island is located in southern Japan, next to the prefecture of Nagasaki and is a 16-acre strip of a land. It is currently a popular tourist spot, but it has a dark past.

Coal was found here in 1810, and more and more people came into the island from 1887 to 1974. A company called Mitsubishi bought it in 1890 and brought out coal from undersea mines. They built large apartment buildings, shops, a cinema, swimming pool, a hospital, and a school, all fro the workers and their families.

Beginning in the 1930s and until the end of the Second World War, Korean civilians and Chinese prisoners of war were forced to work here under harsh conditions. It is estimated that about 1300 people died during this time due to underground accidents, exhaustion, and not enough nutrition. This is the reason the island was named “Jail Island” or “Hell Island” by these people.

It was in 1959 that the island reached its peak of 5259 people, which is 216,264 people per square mile!

But in the 1960s, a substance called petroleum replaced coal, and Mitsubishi slowly let the workers leave the island. In 1974, the island was abandoned, along with the many other coal-mining islands around the place. For 35 years, until 2009, it was left that way.

But in 2015, when movies like Christopher Nolan’s Inception and Sam Mendes’s Skyfall used the island in them, it gained attention.

Now it is a popular tourist attraction, but only a small part of the island is open for common people to visit. No one knows when a building could collapse and cause a serious accident.

Trip Update!

So, this week we have had some pretty awesome experiences, and I am excited to share them with you!

We left our second campsite on Saturday and went to a new place called Kushiro. The scenery there was AMAZING!

We went to a few different lakes around the place, including a lake called “Kamino Ko Ike” which means “Lake from God(or gods)”. What I thought was good is that, on a board that explained about the lake, instead of saying a “gift from nature”(as it usually says), it said “gift from heaven”. It might not be that significant, but in a place where evolution and secularism is so popular, it was very surprising.

FINALLY a real picture.

Two other beautiful lakes we saw were Lake Mashu and Lake Akan.

Lake Akan
Lake Mashu and me!

We also went to the practicing place of the female Japanese bronze medalist curling players and played curling there!

Another cool story I want to share is that, when we were driving back to our campsite, a deer and a little fawn jumped out in front of us. My dad slammed the brakes, and after the two deer went away, we resumed driving. Then, we suddenly saw another deer! The whole ride back, we kept seeing deer walking in the roads and stare at us from the woods. All together, we spotted about 30 of them!

That’s it for this week’s post and update! I hope you enjoyed it! And as usual, God bless and see you next week!

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