Hashima Island ("Border Island"), or better known as Gunkanjima (or "battleship island"), is one of 550 uninhabited islands in Nagasaki Prefecture, around 9 miles from Nagasaki itself. The island was inhabited in between 1887 - 1974 and during this period an intensive exploitation of coal occurred there.
Nickname of this island - "Battleship" comes from its apparent similarity with a military ship as well as its high walls on the coast. It is also known as Ghost Island. Mitsubishi Company bought the island in 1890 and they started the project of coal exploitation from the bottom of the sea. In 1916, a large complex of buildings was built where the growing number of workers used to live. The great wall was also built in this period; it surrounds the island as protection from possible typhoons. In 1959, the population density was 334 people per acre on the entire island and in the housing sector the density was even higher - 556 per acre, and that was the biggest population density ever recorded in the world. As the oil slowly began to replace coal, in the '60 of the last century, the mines were slowly beginning to close and Gunkanjima was no exception. Mitsubishi officially announced the closure in 1974 and today the place is deserted and empty. That is why it is called the Ghost Island. Visiting it is prohibited.
images source: flickr users: origamikid, stuartfrisby, christophklemmt, beat8682 and elbauldejosete.files.wordpress.com, wikimedia.org, hipogrifos.files.wordpress.com
I like this ! Share this page with your friends on facebook !