Ani

阿仁鉱山跡

県北部の阿仁川上流域に栄えた 11 の金、銀、銅山を阿仁鉱山と総称し、湯口内には鎌倉後期 1309 年(延慶 2 年)の砂金発見にまつわる説話が残ります。 16 世紀の末から向山や七十枚山などの金銀山開発が興隆しますが、17 世紀半ばを過ぎて鉱况は衰退に向かいました。 こうした中、1670 年(寛文 10 年)の大坂商人 北国屋による極印沢での銅鉱床発見が転機となり、阿仁は銅山としての発展の道を歩むこととなります。 この頃、幕府は金銀の海外流出を避けるために諸外国との貿易決済を銅に替え、国内の銅山開発を奨励しました。 阿仁では大坂屋や泉屋などの大坂商人による探鉱が相次ぎ、18 世紀初頭にかけて小沢、三枚、萱草、真木沢、二ノ又、一ノ又からなる阿仁六ヶ山が開発されます。 1702 年(元禄 15 年)に秋田藩が銅山の直轄管理を始めると、年産額は宝永年間に大坂廻銅の 4 割近くを占めて国内首位に上り、明和年間にかけて全盛を築きました。 その後、六ヶ山は幕末にかけて大坂屋のもとで稼行され、明治期に移ると変遷を重ねて 1875 年(明治 8 年)に官営化されます。 しかし、政府主導の近代化政策は経営悪化を招き、1885 年(明治 18 年)に六ヶ山は向山とともに古河鉱業創業者 古河市兵衛に払い下げられ、明治末期から大正中期にかけて隆盛を迎えました。 鉱量の低減に伴って 1931 年(昭和 6 年)に休山を余儀なくされますが、古河林業部による二十四孝金山の発見を受けて二年後に再開を迎えます。 終戦後は輸入自由化に向けた対策が施され、1958 年(昭和 33 年)以降の粗鉱生産量は年間 10 万 t を超えて推移しました。 1970 年(昭和 45 年)に再び操業の停止に至りますが、三年間にわたる探鉱を経て阿仁鉱山株式会社が設立され、事業が委ねられることとなります。 主要鉱区の小沢には 1938 年(昭和 13 年)建造の選鉱場跡が今も残ります。

1978 年閉山

Ani Mine

A total of 11 mines located in the upper Ani River basin are collectively called "Ani Mine" and produced gold, silver, and copper ores. According to lore, the origin is the discovery of alluvial gold at Yukuchinai in 1309. Then the development of gold and silver mines, such as Mukaiyama and Shichijumaiyama, brought prosperity to Ani from the end of the 16th century. However, these mines waned in the second half of the 17th century. Kitaguniya, an Osaka merchant, discovered copper ore deposits at Gokuinzawa in 1670, which led to the development of the copper mines in Ani. At that time, the shogunate switched exports from silver to copper and promoted copper mining to prevent the outflow of gold and silver overseas. Accordingly, Osaka merchants, such as Osakaya and Izumiya, began mineral exploration in Ani, discovering six copper mines, namely, Kosawa, Sanmai, Kayakusa, Magisawa, Ninomata, and Ichinomata, by the early 18th century. Subsequently, Akita Domain began direct control of the copper mines in 1702 and sent crude copper to Osaka, where shogunal copper was administered. Then the shipments from the domain reached their peak in the 1700s and accounted for 40 percent of the crude copper gathered from all over the nation for Osaka. The prosperity continued until the 1760s. Later, Osakaya contracted to manage the mines, and its operation continued until the second half of the 19th century. In the Meiji period, the mine management was taken over by others several times, and it came under the control of the Meiji government in 1875. Although the government introduced modern equipment to the mines as part of a policy, these efforts yielded no results. Thereupon, the six copper mines and Mukaiyama Silver Mine were sold as part of the government property disposal to Ichibei Furukawa, the founder of Furukawa Mining Co., Ltd., in 1885. Afterwards, the mines were restored through the efforts of Furukawa and prospered in the early 20th century. Although operations at Ani Mine were suspended due to a decrease in resources in 1931, they were resumed two years later following the discovery of Nijushiko Gold Mine by Furukawa Ringyo-bu General Partnership. After the war, the mine increased its production and streamlined operations in anticipation of trade liberalization. As a result, the annual crude ore production exceeded 100,000 tonnes from 1958 onwards. The company suspended operations again in 1970 and initiated a three-year mining exploration. The exploration led to the discovery of new ore deposits, and the company established Ani Mine Co., Ltd. and transferred its operations. The remains of a beneficiation plant, built in 1938, can be seen even now at Kosawa.

closure in 1978

秋田県北秋田市阿仁
銅、金、銀、鉛、硫化鉄

Ani, Kita-Akita City, Akita
copper, gold, silver, lead, iron sulfide

政府は 1880 年(明治 13 年)にドイツから Adolph Mezger をはじめとする鉱山技師を招聘して鉱山の近代化を図りました。 1884 年(明治 17 年)に三枚と小沢を結ぶ三枚通洞を完成させて鉱石を小沢に集め、そこから軌道を敷設して水無製錬所までの送鉱経路を確立します。 これにより、各地に分散していた鉱山施設や物流が集約された一方、古くから続いた鉱山集落は消失しました。 その後、鉱山とともに近代設備や技術者を獲得した古河は、明治期を通じて大規模な操業改革に取り組み、鉱床の新規発見と開発の他、製錬設備の拡充、発電所や選鉱場の設置、鉄軌道の敷設などを進めます。 その結果、生産量は大正期にかけて増大し、1908 年(明治 41 年)の鉱夫数は 3,560 名を数え、年間生産量は粗鉱 50,319 t、粗銅 1,307 t に及びました。

The Meiji government invited Adolph Mezger and other mining engineers from Germany with the aim of mine modernization. In 1884, they completed a connecting adit called 'Sanmai-Tsudo' between Sanmai and Kosawa, enabling the gathering of ores from each copper mine to Kosawa. Additionally, an exclusive railway line was constructed to transport refined ore from Kosawa to Mizunashi Smelter. As a result, scattered mining facilities and distribution were centralized at Kosawa, causing the disappearance of long-established settlements around each mine. Later, Furukawa acquired modern mining equipment and engineers in addition to the mine and carried out operational reforms throughout the Meiji period. Besides the discovery and development of ore deposits, various initiatives increased production in the early 20th century, which included expansion of smelting equipment, construction of power plants and beneficiation plants, and the installation of steel rails. In 1917, the mine employed 3,560 miners, producing 50,319 tonnes of crude ore and 1,307 tonnes of crude copper.

空中写真-阿仁小沢鉱山-1975年
© 国土地理院

1975 年(昭和 50 年)当時
At the time of 1975

空中写真-阿仁小沢鉱山-現在
© Google

現在の様子
The present state

The Remains Photographed in
Abandoned Ani Mine

阿仁鉱山-#01 阿仁鉱山-#01

#01

阿仁で製錬された荒銅は舟で川を下り、能代港から北前船で日本海を南下しました。 大坂銅座では、各地から集められた荒銅が銅吹屋の南蛮吹きによって棹銅に精錬され、その多くは御用銅として長崎出島からオランダや中国に輸出されました。

The crude copper was transported by cargo ships known as "Kitamae-Bune" from Noshiro Port. Osaka-Doza gathered crude copper from all over the nation and manufactured copper ingots through a refining method called "Nanban-buki" by refineries called "Dofukiya". Most of the ingots were exported from Dejima in Nagasaki to the Netherlands and Qing China.

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阿仁鉱山-#02 阿仁鉱山-#02

#02

幕府は大坂銅吹屋に南蛮吹きの独占を認めましたが、秋田藩は許可を得て 1775 年(安永 4 年)に篭山銀絞所(後の加護山精錬所)を開設しました。 大坂屋の請負のもと、精錬に伴って荒銅から銀が抽出された他、幕末には密造銭を含む貨幣が鋳造されます。

The shogunate granted exclusive refining rights to "Dofukiya" in Osaka. The Akita Domain was granted permission by the shogunate and established Kagoyama Refinery in 1775, consigning Osakaya to refining operations. The refinery enabled the domain to extract silver from the crude copper and then engaged in illegal coin minting in the middle of the 19th century.

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