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Dec 19, 2010

Gunkanjima (Japanese): Island of ghosts (and forbidden)

Gunkanjima was one of 505 uninhabited islands in Nagasaki Prefecture about 15 kilometers from Nagasaki itself. The island is inhabited by 1887-1974 as mining facilities. The island is best known feature is the abandoned concrete buildings and walls surrounding sea. This is known as coal mines and their operation during the industrialization of Japan. Mitsubishi bought the island in 1890 and started the project, the purpose of which took coal from the seabed. They built Japan's first concrete edifice, a apartment block in 1916 to accommodate their growing ranks of workers, and to protect against hurricane damage.
In 1959, the population density is 835 persons per hectare for the entire island, or 1391 per hectare for a residential area, one of highest population density ever recorded worldwide. As petroleum replaced coal in Japan in 1960, coal mines began to close around the country, and Hashima's mines are no exception. Mitsubishi officially announced theclosure of of the mine in 1974 ,and today is empty and empty ,that is why it is called the island of ghosts . The trip to Hashima is currently prohibited.


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