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Gunkanjima (Battleship Island)

Posted by
Steve Rice (Olympia, United States) on 21 September 2015 in Cityscape & Urban and Portfolio.

Here is what I had to see. When I read about this place, I couldn't resist. The island's actual name is Hashima but, one look makes it obvious how it got its nickname. It resembles the battleship Tosa. A larger view is here.

The island lies 11.8 miles (19 kilometers) southwest of Nagasaki Harbor. It's tiny at 0.3 mile (480 meters) north to south and 0.1 mile (160 meters) east to west. It's surrounded by a seawall and is covered by various structures. The fascinating part is that there is a seabed coal mine under the sea surrounding the island. Coal was discovered on Hashima in 1810. Mitsubishi Limited Partnership gained control in 1890 and seabed mining began in earnest.

The mine continued producing coal until the shift to oil in the 1970s. As the demand for coal fell, the mine's output declined as did the workforce. In January 1974, the mine closed and by April of that year, the island became uninhabited.

Return to Japan

Nicou from Sion, Switzerland

Superbe vue de cette île quelle vue et rendu fantastique cpatage.

21 Sep 2015 5:18am

Jypyä Pop from Turku, Finland

It actually resembles a large ship. You told us also that the island is under the coal mine. It is an interesting thing. Such photo reports are among the best. They will learn the world of new things in an interesting way.

21 Sep 2015 5:59am

Devi from Chennai, India

Looks like a huge battleship!! Wonderful image and you have narrated the history so well!!!Thank you :)

21 Sep 2015 6:15am

jpla from St Barthélémy d, France

On dirait un bateau

21 Sep 2015 7:06am

Focales from Entre montagnes et Bretagne, France

We would really say a big inhabited boat. Impressive

21 Sep 2015 7:24am

Ronnie 2¢ from Atlantic Shores, United Kingdom

What a fascinating image and story . . when I first opened it, I quite expected it to set sail !

21 Sep 2015 7:41am

Tede from Aubenas 07, France

Magnificent place, splendid shot !!!

21 Sep 2015 8:09am

Evelyne Dubos from Le Mans, France

I agree with Focale, incredible place!

21 Sep 2015 8:37am

jean pierre a from France

superb mise en valeur de cette île!! amitiés

21 Sep 2015 8:44am

Phil Morris from Saskatoon, Toronto, NYC, Canada

Love the larger view also, superb !!

21 Sep 2015 8:46am

Tomek from PoznaƄ, Poland

Sad mood. Nicely captured.

21 Sep 2015 9:06am

Libouton Martine from Bousval, Belgium

J'aime beaucoup ce paysage et cette belle avancée de mer!

21 Sep 2015 9:51am

Nazzareno from Rome, Italy

It looks like a ship... Really beautifu

21 Sep 2015 10:40am

Stephen from Canberra, Australia

Wow - quite surreal - superb capture.

21 Sep 2015 10:42am

Luca Bobbiesi from Milano, Italy

Fantastic photo!

21 Sep 2015 12:44pm

Patrick M. from Lille, France

An island that seems deserted !! Great shot

21 Sep 2015 2:29pm

Kyu from Kyoto, Japan

Wonderful shot of the historical island.

21 Sep 2015 2:41pm

Kiki from Auvergne, France

A ghost ship in this atmosphere of greyness!

21 Sep 2015 3:02pm

Don from Spokane, United States

It's a fascinating place for its nickname and the strong resemblance to a ship. It has an interesting history.

21 Sep 2015 3:42pm

gerard1948 from Spain

Wonderful, the island really is shaped like a boat. Very interesting explanations and excellent picture.
Have a good week.

21 Sep 2015 4:44pm

Graciel·la (Vic. Catalonia) from CAT. New European State, Poland

Absolutrely ! It is like a ship !

21 Sep 2015 5:21pm

Francisco Romero from Leon, Spain

It is exactly what it appears at first glance. Very good title and excellent photograph.

21 Sep 2015 5:39pm

Ruthiebear from Titusville, NJ, United States

It looks like a battleship!!! Fabulous viewpoint

21 Sep 2015 6:00pm

omid from mashhad, Iran

very nice shot!
such beautiful composition, tone, lights & textures!
A M A Z I N G !!!

21 Sep 2015 7:27pm

Mhelene from Villiers-sur-Marne, France

Incredible , impressiv and fascinating . Very exciting to learn about this place ! Thank you !

21 Sep 2015 7:41pm

Etsu from Kyoto, Japan

Wonderful framing. Great capture of the historical site.

22 Sep 2015 2:41am

L'Angevine from Angers, France


22 Sep 2015 7:45am

Hiro from Kyoto, Japan

Ah, I've never been there. Thanks for sharing.

22 Sep 2015 8:18am

Daryl Johnson from Worcester Park, United Kingdom

Would love to visit this... did you know they used footage of it in the James Bond film 'Skyfall' (didn't actually film there though)?

22 Sep 2015 11:21am

Diana from Olympia, United States

Interesting place

22 Sep 2015 6:06pm

Sam from Chennai, India

Great shot of these old buildings and in the small island. It looks like a battleship. :)

23 Sep 2015 4:16am

julie from France

Un lieu désolant... mais ta série est bien réalisée, bravo !
Bonne journée Steve.

24 Sep 2015 6:18am

k@ from Paris, France

Impressive is this larger view, real boat, ghost one !

24 Sep 2015 9:03am

Denny Jump Photo from Easton, PA, United States

And i 1974, I was just finishing the GI Bill at Sac State and off to work in Seattle.....Amazing! This is a story that I never knew about, Steve! Thank you!

27 Sep 2015 1:36pm