PROTIP: Press 'i' to view the image gallery, 'v' to view the video gallery, or 'r' to view a random entry.
Anti-Zombie Fortress is the nickname given to an abandoned coal mine in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan, mainly due to its unique structural design that can be seen as highly impervious to zombie raids. While the mine shaft has become a popular destination in Japan for haiyakos (廃虚) or “urban excursion of abandoned buildings” since the mid-2000s, photographs of the tower became a subject of “anti-zombie” parodies and online discussions via social news hubsite Reddit in early April 2011.
On April 1st, 2011, Reddit user “Mitsjol” submitted a picture of the Shime coal mine to /r/pics, titled “This would make an awesome anti-zombie fortress.” In similar vein to other conceptual jokes like Rocket Propelled Chainsaw and Chinese Gundam, other Reddit users quickly responded with a series of photoshopped images, pointing out structural flaws and sharing their own “anti-zombie” designs, as well as creating replicas of the shaft tower in Minecraft.
Background: The Tower
Better known as the “Winding Tower of the Shime coal mine” in Japan, this 47.65 meter (156.3 ft) tall structure was built from 1941 to 1943, remained in operation over 21 years before it was closed down in 1961. According to various travel blog posts on Shime coal mine, the structure remains easily accessible by public transportation and well-preserved in shape to this day.
View Larger Map
As one of the three remaining “winding tower” mine shafts in existence, the structure was designated by the Japanese government as a site of national cultural heritage in July 2007 and was declared an “important cultural property” in December 2009. Since the mid-to-late 2000s, Shime coal mine has become a popular destination for haiyako (廃虚), a fairly recent trend of urban exploration with a focus in abandoned ruins and photography.
On April 2nd, another Reddit thread titled “I see your zombie fortress and i raise you a zombie fortress” was posted, and subsequently was voted to the front page. Later on the same, it received its own Minecraft structure replica as well as a mobile anti-zombie fortress, which received over 600 upvotes within hours.