A return to Nichitsu mining town #2: The school

When entering any school it’s only natural to expect a noisy greeting from the sounds of the students within, but not in Nichitsu mining town, as an ever-dwindling number of children due to the gradual decline of the area’s mining activities meant the community’s school was eventually forced to close its doors in the early 1970s — a decision that now makes the institution a very different place indeed, even before one actually enters, with no need anymore to change from outdoor shoes, to indoor ones.

Nichitsu school

And where kids once careered down the corridors.

Nichitsu school

Or clattered in and out of classrooms, regardless of the rules.

Nichitsu school

There is now only silence.

Nichitsu school

A silence that’s all the more noticeable due to the signs of so many sounds — especially those made by the students who once studied here.

Nichitsu school

Like drums left discarded.

Nichitsu school

Or pianos that are now unplayable, let alone unplayed.

Nichitsu school

Plus a varied selection of recorded music. In this case a nostalgic piece of vinyl that for some reason T.M. didn’t take home.

Nichitsu school

Instead choosing to leave it behind in a room that’ll never again have any festive cheer funnelled through its speakers.

Nichitsu school

And in Japan, where all manner of rules are continually, almost religiously, repeated, this discarded and slightly damaged megaphone seems especially subdued.

Nichitsu school

Silently suggestive of the sounds that were once an integral, and no doubt sometimes irritating, part of the school.

Nichitsu school

For those interested, there are my original posts on Nichitsu, covering the doctor’s office, dwellings and day to day life of those who once lived there, as well as a more recent visit to the now further decayed doctor’s place.

Comments

    • says

      We actually met somebody in there, which happened the first time too, so that was more than enough without the use of a megaphone.

      Yeah, that classroom is still exactly the same, but it has been done to death, and it also didn’t fit with the story I wanted to tell. That said, it’s still a beautiful room.

    • says

      For me at least, it wasn’t quite depressing, as the school just gradually wound down, but it was certainly a little sad considering all the memories the place contains.

    • says

      Thanks! Yeah, the old pics were a lucky find and a nice contrast. It’s always fascinating to see how things once were. And I agree, melancholy is probably the best way of describing it.

  1. says

    Fantastic as always. I’m so jealous. Perhaps T.M. wasn’t really a fan of Christmas Carols. I’m sure s/he must’ve heard the record enough times to be quite done with it. ^_^

    • says

      Thanks Lizzy! Yeah, maybe. White Christmas could well have been as overplayed as Last Christmas is these days…

  2. says

    Fascinating set of pictures. For example the picture of the hallway of the school, with the sign ‘please don’t run’ (とびだし注意) It’s easy to imagine children giving life to that place in better times, giving it a very melancholic atmosphere. On my next visit to Japan, I’ll consider looking for one of these haikyo sites too.

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