Hashima Island: in 1974 the coal ran out, but the ghosts remained
April 21, 2014 12:11 PM   Subscribe

A few miles off the coast of Japan lies "Battleship Island," or Gunkanjima (軍艦島), the Japanese nickname for Hashima Island, due to its resemblance to the Japanese Tosa battleship. The island was formerly a densely populated coal mining town, purchased by Mitsubishi in 1890, but by the 1960s the coal was running out, and in 1974 the island was quickly vacated as Mitsubishi offered residents jobs elsewhere. Now, the island is an urban explorer's dream, though the island is not completely open to the public for tours. Last year, Google trekker walked the island, providing a virtual tour of the island. And if the roughly 40 year old ruins aren't foreboding enough, Bryan James put together a Chrome experiment called Hashima Island: Forgotten World, based on the Google maps tour of the site.
posted by filthy light thief (15 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

Very cool, but a flicker warning on that last link is necessary. Ow. Headache.
posted by strixus at 12:15 PM on April 21 [2 favorites]

The island has been mentioned previously a few times: May 2004, Feb. 2006, Sept. 2006, Dec. 2006.

Yeah, sorry - Hashima Island: Forgotten World is a bit heavy on the horror movie flickers in the intro, but doesn't seem to be so bad after that.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:16 PM on April 21

I'm having trouble finding Sirrus and Achenar.
posted by gwint at 12:22 PM on April 21 [8 favorites]

See also: Life After People - episode 1
posted by filthy light thief at 12:34 PM on April 21

I first encountered Hashima Island just a couple of years ago in in Greg Stolze's novel, "Mask of the Other," which sets supernatural horror in Hashima Island and several other modern ghost towns.
posted by Myca at 12:50 PM on April 21

I watched Skyfall last night and was wondering where that Island was in reality.
posted by fullerine at 1:12 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]

We appear to have sunk
posted by Thorzdad at 1:52 PM on April 21

The google maps walkabout is quite impressive, though they get into some rather dangerous places, I'd say. Considering all the concrete rubble about, I personally wouldn't feel too confident that the stuff that's standing would remain so for very long.
posted by Metro Gnome at 1:54 PM on April 21

We appear to have sunk

Hmm, it seems to work for me at this moment.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:04 PM on April 21

It has resurfaced, but it's changed.
"Owari went on the Hawaiian Operation, and her planes sank the battleship Nevada and some submarines."
"Subsequently, the two of them headed west to Ceylon, where British Hawker Henley dive bombers from Excalibur sank the Owari."

This seems to be some alternate history.
posted by hat_eater at 3:08 PM on April 21

It is.
posted by hat_eater at 3:14 PM on April 21

Fantastic. Thanks.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:43 PM on April 21

posted by homunculus at 11:14 PM on April 21 [2 favorites]

Thanks for the link, homunculus. I wasn't sure where in your previous post on Slow Action to find Hashima Island.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:02 AM on April 22

The island has been mentioned previously a few times: May 2004, Feb. 2006, Sept. 2006, Dec. 2006.

One of our "current affairs" shows, maybe Sunday Night, had a piece on this island recently.
The pitch was "Ghost Island, where the people vanished overnight...".
It annoyed me to the point of leaving a grumpy message.
posted by Mezentian at 7:00 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]

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