Korean schoolgirls make improvised ‘tadon’ coal dumplings for the war effort, and they gang up on a dissenting girl who protested against the dirty working conditions, taunting her as being a weakling since before the battles in the Solomon Islands started (1943, Duksung Women’s Vocational School)


Notes: The vocational students of Duksung Women’s Vocational School were making improvised, handmade coal briquettes, or balls of coal dust that were kept together with some gluing agent. Coal/charcoal briquettes are known as ‘Yeontan’ in Korean and as ‘Rentan’ in Japanese, and their spherical form is known as ‘Tadon’ in Japanese. Fuel shortages were becoming more acute throughout Japan and its colonies as World War II progressed, so this must have been a desperate measure to salvage as much coal scraps as possible to increase energy production. Yeontan continued to be used in South Korea until they were mostly phased out by the 2000’s. 


Gyeongseong Ilbo (Keijo Nippo) August 22, 1943

The spirit of the fighting maidens

Students of Duksung Women’s Vocational School make coal briquettes

The sun-blackened maidens were rolling out ‘tadon’ coal dumplings in their hands…. This was the work of the students of Duksung Women’s Vocational School making coal briquettes, trying to cultivate the ingenuity of material production as warrior maidens. After much deliberation on how to make use of the more than ten tons of coal and briquette debris and detritus left over from the winter, Principal Fukuzawa turned to the labor of the students to make ‘tadon’ (coal dumplings), and every day since the beginning of the second semester, each grade has been working hard perspiring holy sweat to make ‘tadon’ dumplings.

There was a student who complained, “I don’t want to do this kind of work, because it makes my hands dirty”, but fellow students admonished her as being a weakling since before the ocean battles in the Solomon Islands started. The maidens silently worked hard to increase production, forgetting that their pure white work clothes and athletic caps were being stained black. Their tough appearance helped repel the midsummer heat. (Photo: Duksung Women’s Vocational School students making coal briquettes)

Source: http://www.archive.org/details/kjnp-1943-08-22

There are three other articles I previously posted of Korean schoolgirls keeping each other in line.

Correcting each other’s spoken Japanese: 



Reporting each other for speaking Korean: https://exposingimperialjapan.com/2021/12/korean-high-school-student-uses.html

Why am I posting this kind of content? Read my reasons here: https://exposingimperialjapan.com/2021/11/nostalgia-for-imperial-japan-and-its.html


京城日報 1943年8月22日