PortandTerminal.com, February 14, 2021
MOSCOW – In 1939 the Japanese built the nine-story Aniva lighthouse on a tiny island off of the extreme southernmost tip of Sakhalin.
At the time of its construction, the Aniva lighthouse was in Japanese territory, although that is no longer the case.
Claimed by both Japan and Russia, control of Sakhalin flip-flopped between the two powers until 1945 when the Russians took over following WW2. Approximately 292,600 Japanese residents in Sakhalin were “repatriated”. Today Sakhalin is the largest island of the Russian Federation and home to almost 500,000 people – mostly Russians although there are small Korean and native communities living there as well.
Construction and abandonment
The word “remote” does not even begin to describe the Aniva lighthouse’s location which made its construction incredibly challenging.
Designed by Japanese engineer Miura Shinobu, all construction materials had to be delivered by sea, often turbulent, foggy and dangerous. There were no docks, warehouses or accommodating facilities for the workers, so all incoming materials had to be immediately used for the construction of the lighthouse.
The basement of the lighthouse was equipped with diesel engines and batteries. Above them were the kitchen, food storage, radio room, equipment room and watch room. The living quarters, which could accommodate up to 12 people, were located on the third, fourth and fifth floors. The top ninth floor of the 102-foot high structure housed the lens rotation mechanism of the lighthouse.
In 2006 the lighthouse was abandoned. Much looted and slowly succumbing to the destructive forces of sea and wind, the lighthouse today is home to thousands of sea gulls and a destination for photographers.
With reporting by Eugene Kaspersky: Aniva: the lighthouse on the edge of the world.
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