Battleship Island

Hashima Island was briefly occupied for coal mining operations until 1974. Now it is just one of the 500 or so islands of the Nagasaki prefecture to be uninhabited.

Hashima Island (postcard view)

At it's height, the island was home to almost 5500 workers and their families, many forcibly relocated from other parts of eastern Asia during the Second World War. The operations were run by Mitsibushi Corporation from the 1880's in an aim to try and utilise Japan's undersea coal mines to aid the state's late industrialisation policies.

Hashima island

It's grey, concrete profile gave it the nickname of 'Battleship Island.' In fact, the resemblance was so striking to US Naval officers in the Second World War that they decided to launch torpedoes at it.

With the use of petrol outstripping the applicable usage of coal, the island's operations simply became to expensive to maintain in such an isolated condition, the island was abandoned and travel there was banned until 2009 when it was briefly reopened only to be deemed too unsafe and curtailed again.