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Living with the Sea

The Diving Women of Toba

Aired: December 22, 2017 (UTC)


Toba, located in Mie Prefecture, thrives on oyster, abalone and Ise lobster fishing, and pearl farming. The beautiful rias coastline has numerous inlets and islands. With a 3,000-year history, the ama are women who dive for seafood. They have continued their diving tradition ensuring sustainable gathering of marine products, particularly abalone. They only dive around 50 days a year because of the fishing season and weather. They also work part-time in restaurants or as show-divers for tourists. Many ama are also kept busy growing vegetables or running guesthouses. Nevertheless, they are extremely lively as they engage in chatter after a dive. But their average age is 65. Their tradition may disappear in another 20 years. So, how do their children and grandchildren feel about the work of the ama?
This documentary looks at the tradition through the eyes of the ama and their families. Witness the charms of Toba with its wealth of nature and famous seafood cuisine.


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