Jun Kawada who served as Director of Sumitomo Limited Partnership until 1936 was also admired as a poet and novelist. He composed this poem when he visited the Besshi Copper Mines in 1955 with his old friend Kageji Washio.
Something caught Kawada’s eye. The No. 4 Tunnel was the main artery for development of the Besshi Copper Mines at that time. Above the tunnel entrance, a small shrine dedicated to Oyamatsumi, the god of the mountains and the ocean, is a focus for hopes and prayers for safety in the mines. All the miners made a gesture of respect toward this shrine and silently prayed in their hearts as they passed beneath, before boarding the wagons that would take them to their workplaces deep underground.
Despite long experience of working underground, the miners always approached their work with evident feelings of solemnity and composure. Impressed by their attitude, Kawada recognized their commitment to fulfilling their duties safely and their awe of the mountain.