What’s now decay and rot once was bright and brilliantly full of hope: Who lived here? What were their lives like? What happened? How did it all come apart? How did it all crumble to almost nothing?

In the case of Hashima Island, or Battleship Island (Gunkanjima in Japanese) as it’s often called, hope and optimism became dust and decay because one black resource (coal) was replaced by a cheaper black resource (oil). Populated first in 1887, the island – which is 15 kilometers from Nagasaki – only began to really, and phenomenally, become populated much later, in 1959.

Via Dark Roasted Blend, with many more pictures and information, along with more things about abandoned urban spaces.