January 3rd, 2013

Awash in Red

The Roadhouse

On a rural roadside in southern New Jersey can be found a decaying farmhouse. A small thing, long forgotten. Concealed away behind
a wall of shrubs and trees, completely ignored by the passing motorists which travel daily only some twenty feet beyond its door.
Within the house however, it is apparent that time and its workings are some of the few things which have not disregarded this place.

Windows are seated in crooked frames, ivy curls up and into the wooden facades, and furniture slowly sinks into the decayed flooring.
Things are quiet here, especially considering the close proximity of the house to the main throughway which lies just past
the front porch. A layer of dust cloaks everything, slightly desaturating the surroundings, while at the same time
exaggerating the amber light of the late afternoon sun.

A crumbling old home may, at first, seem a dull location to document, or for that matter even bother visiting at all.
Perhaps this is because there are abandoned houses in nearly every town, and seeing one is hardly considered a unique experience.
We assume that each of these places, though varied in some degree, all have similar stories to tell... if they even have one at all.
If this small farmhouse has any lessons at all to impart upon its audience, it would simply be: pay heed to the ignored.
For it is in this home, and countless others like it, that some of life's most poignant stories are composed.
There is no more intimate place in a person's existence that their home. People loved here, they learned here, and they grew here.
A house holds onto these things, absorbing them into its very fiber throughout the years, and whispers them back in
subtle ways only noticeable to those who take the time to actually listen.

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Allison Harvard <3

Abandoned poison gas factory power plant, Okunoshima, Japan

Okunoshima, Japan is a small island in the Seto Inland Sea (between Honshu and Shikoku), and is famous primarily for two things. The first being the huge population of semi-wild rabbits that are found all over the island, and are so used to people that they will hop right up to you and beg for food.

The other is for it's very sordid history. You see, Okunoshima was the site of poison gas manufacturing during World War II. Because of it's size and discreet location, it was the optimum location of creating weapons secretly. The poison gas made here - including tear gas and mustard gas - was used all throughout Japan's occupation of East and Southeast Asia.  After the war, the island was quickly abandoned, and is now a tourist destination with a small resort, golf course, a tiny beach, and of course, tons of rabbits.

You don't have to go far to find ruins. Once you get off the dock, and take a right, you soon come across a rather spooky tunnel, and on the other side you see this:

Once you go threw it, you are standing right in front of one of the main power stations that supplied electricity to the weapons plants.

The signs say of course "no trespassing," but that never stops me (or anyone else, as the abundant amount of graffiti inside proves)...

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If you are interested in seeing more views of this building (including detailed views of the graffiti), other buildings on the island, and of course the bunnies, I have a whole set dedicated to Okunoshima on Flickr.