Then and Now – photographs of Gunkanjima

BEFORE TIME STOOD STILL

Photograph of the Hashima elementary school's Sports Day. Fathers and sons are dancing together. Showa 47.

Photograph of the Hashima elementary school’s Sports Day. Fathers and sons are dancing together. Showa 47 (1972).

Newspaper article at the time.

Newspaper article at the time.

“The longer the island sits unprotected by the typhoons and crashing waves, the more the structure crumbles – and with it, the history of this silent island.” – Ross McDermott

SHADOWS OF GHOSTS
Despite being off-limits to travellers, the island has become an irresistible magnet for urban explorers who go to extraordinary lengths to investigate and photograph the island’s abandoned buildings.

MAPS OF TREASURE BATTLESHIP ISLAND

Sections A & B - note level of reclaimed land vs original island profile. With time, the reclaimed land section is being retaken by the sea.

Sections A & B – note level of reclaimed land vs original island profile. With time, the reclaimed land section is being retaken by the sea.

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Sections C & D.

Area map of the island by Gunkanjima Concierge.

Area map of the island by Gunkanjima Concierge.

Year and extent of island expansion.

Year and extent of island expansion.

Brochure from local Nagasaki tour company.

Brochure from local Nagasaki tour company.

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One thought on “Then and Now – photographs of Gunkanjima

  1. Tong Lam has also taken some interesting shots of the island, here: http://photography.tonglam.com/#/urreal-estate/lost-battleship

    The role of photography in helping create a relationship between those who have experienced pain and hardship (as well as other emotions too of course!) and those who witness it through images is a very interesting one for me. It has also been explored by many scholars over the years, such as Susan Sontag in ‘Regarding the Pain of Others’ or, more recently, in Suzie Linfield’s ‘Cruel Radiance: Photography and Political Violence’ and Ariella Azouray’s ‘The Civil Contract of Photography’.

    I know going too far into studies of photography is beyond the scope of your project, but it might be worth thinking about what emotional responses photos bring out in spectators. What do we feel when we see these images of Hashima, and why?

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