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One of the lesser-known but fascinating parts of Japanese culture is that of the Ama pearl divers. These women specialised in freediving some 30 feet down into cold water wearing nothing more than a loincloth. Utilising special techniques to hold their breath for up to 2 minutes at a time, they would work for up to 4 hours a day in order to gather abalone, seaweed and other shellfish. The most profitable pursuit however was diving for pearls. Traditionally for Ama, finding a pearl inside an oyster was akin to receiving a large bonus while they went about their ancestral practice of collecting shellfish.

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Scuba Passions is free, so if it looks interesting, please join and tell your friends about us. Once you have joined, you will have the option to add other sites within the network that match you and your interests. Scuba Webcam Chat. Scuba Groups. They often went down to about 30 metres ft for up to 5 minutes.

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Some of them more than years ago discovered the Antikythera Mechanism, the oldest analog computer. A great scientific account of what these remarkable women can do.

One of the lesser-known but fascinating parts of Japanese culture is that of the Ama pearl divers. Ama (?? in Japanese), literally means 'woman of the sea' and is recorded as early as in the oldest Japanese anthology of poetry, the Man'thatliz.com women specialised in freediving some 30 feet down into cold water wearing nothing more than a loincloth. Scuba Personals is part of the Online Connections dating network, which includes many other general and scuba dating sites. As a member of Scuba Personals, your profile will automatically be shown on related scuba dating sites or to related users in the Online Connections network at no additional charge. divers: [pronoun, plural in construction] an indefinite number more than one.

A little note though: In japan female divers were non existent as men were the only ones allowed to do that until the 19th century. At that time the taxation system made women possible divers but also made their activities tax free which had the effect of pushing a lot of poor female into the job. Remember, It was NOT a good or well regarded job and the romanticism about it is only in retrospect.

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A few years ago I found a unique book by Horace Bristol on his photography of Japan, from Inside, there are 14 booklets of his photos and observations. One of the booklets talks about the Ama in a different location, and pearl cultivation in general. The photography is really amazing and provides a record of a way of life that is tending to become more rare. You can find out more about it here.

I have never heard of this! How amazing! I would love to visit there some day and possibly try myself.

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Thank you for sharing! Your email address will not be published. Thrilling tales of adventure and stories about haikyo, urban exploration and travel off the beaten track from Gakuranman in Japan. Goodies Tweet. Fosco Maraini The most profitable pursuit however was diving for pearls. Source Fosco Maraini The role of the Mikimoto ama was to collect the oysters from the seabed so that the pearl-producing nucleus may be inserted.

Yoshiyuki Iwase Although the tradition is still maintained across many parts of Japan, the skinny-dipping practices of old have largely been lost.

Eishin Osaki One photographer in particular stands out with his photographs of the Ama. Yoshiyuki Iwase One of the reasons Ama are largely female is said to be their thicker layer of fat than their male counterparts to help them endure the cold water during long periods of diving.

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FPCJ Source As technology progressed, the Ama communities were faced with decisions - adopt new tools and equipment or retain traditions? Yoshiyuki Iwase On Hegura island in Wajima city, rules state that abalone under 10 centimetres must be returned to the sea, with a punishment of two days without work if caught breaking them.

Source Source This culture of national mermaids diving for the nation is not only unique to Japan however.

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To wrap up, below are a few interesting related media that I stumbled upon. Source Predictably, there are also films made around the profession.

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