The Ominous Skyline of a James Bond Villain’s Real-Life Lair; Michael Hardy; Wired

Japan – Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution: Iron and Steel, Shipbuilding and Coal Mining

“Battleship Island,” as it’s known, has a tale almost dramatic as the plot of ‘Skyfall.’

IN THE 2012 James Bond film Skyfall, Daniel Craig’s 007 is lured—by a mysterious woman, naturally—to the island lair of the villainous Raoul Silva, a former MI6 agent gone rogue. Silva, the story goes, took over the island after hacking into the computers of the local chemical plant and simulating a leak, forcing the panicked inhabitants to flee overnight.

The real story of Hashima Island, which lies off the coast of Nagasaki in the East China Sea, is almost as dramatic. From the 1880s until 1974, when it was abruptly abandoned, the tiny island was a major Japanese coal mine, with tunnels stretching almost 2,000 feet under the earth.

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