Hashima Island (also known as Gunkanjima, Battleship Island or Ghost Island) is part of a group over 500 uninhabited islands and lies 9 miles from the city of Nagasaki, in the Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan.
Established in 1881 as a coal mining facility, this East Asian island has been abandoned since the official closure in 1974. During the industrialization of Japan, the Mitsubishi Group bought the island in 1890 to remove coal from mines under the sea. The 9 floor apartments, built in 1916 for the ever expanding amount of workers for the mines, were the first large concrete buildings in all of Japan. By 1959, the population on Gunkanjima reached 5,259, the peak for the island’s small size. Petroleum began to substitute for coal in Japan in the 1960’s with the mines on Hashima Island closing and the inhabitants of the island leaving in 1974.
The island gained the nickname ‘Battleship Island’ because of its resemblance to Tosa, a Japanese battleship. The World Heritage Organization is fighting to have Hashima Island put on the UNESCO World Heritage register. A portion of the island was opened to the public again in 2009 for sightseeing tours after 35 years of abandonment.
Portrayed as the villain liar in the 2012 James Bond movie, Skyfall, Gunkanjima was not actually used for the filming of those scenes. Instead a section of Hashima Island was recreated in Buckinghamshire at the Pinewood Studios and the rest was CGI. The movie Midori Naki Shima translated as ‘The Greenless Island’ was shot on Gunkanjima in 1949. Battleship Island was also used by the Japanese rock band B’z for their 2009 music video of ‘My Lonely Town’. In 2009, Gunkanjima Island was featured in the ‘Life After People’ television show. The Google Company sent an employee to the island in 2013 with a backpack camera to capture the Street View of Hashima.
Where is the abandoned Battle ship Island Gunkanjima located? You can find it with these coordinates. 32.628009,129.73845.
All images used under Creative Commons License Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 2.0 Generic. All images by Dozo Domo / Flickr.