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History of the Kamaishi Mine

Because it was opened during the Edo Period, the Kamaishi Mine developed in line with the growth of Japan's iron and steel industry through the Meiji, Taisho and Showa periods. As a producer of good-quality iron ore, the Kamaishi Mine supported the "iron town" of Kamaishi and Japan’s iron manufacturing for more than a century.

1857 Oshima Takato, a retainer of the Morioka domain, constructed Western-style blast furnaces in Ohashi and succeeded in producing molten pig iron from iron ore. (To commemorate his success, December 1 is still celebrated as Iron Commemoration Day.) This paved the way for a total of 10 blast furnaces to be built at the end of the Edo Period (three each in Ohashi and Hashino, two in Sahinai, and one each in Kuribayashi and Sunakowatari), laying the foundation for the modern iron and steel industry in Japan.
1874 The Meiji government designated the Kamaishi Mine a state-owned steelworks (it was closed in 1883).
1876 Construction of the Kamaishi Tetsudo as Japan's third railway started to connect the mine with Kamaishi City.
1939 Nittetsu Mining was spun off from the former Japan Iron & Steel and took over the Kamaishi Mine as its Kamaishi Quarry in May.
1952 A copper concentration site was built to establish a system for producing iron and copper in parallel.
1979 The Kamaishi Quarry was taken over by Kamaishi Kozan Co., Ltd. as a 100% subsidiary of Nittetsu Mining.
1989 Production of mineral water "Sennin Hisui" began.
1992 Mining of copper ore was discontinued.
1993 Large-scale iron ore mining was discontinued. Businesses involving the new mine, mineral water and use of the underground spaces were launched. (Even today, mining continues with a production rate of 100 tons per year.)

Ohashi around 1948

The 350-meter tunnel mouth around 1933
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