Iwase Yoshiyuki's photo-essay of Ama Divers - girls and women who harvested seaweed, oysters, and abalone in coastal Japan.
"Ama divers went out three times a day, requiring extensive eating and warming at the fireside between runs. A good harvest required long, cold dives, up to four minutes of hard underwater work on a single lungful of air. As such, ama divers were paid enormous salaries, often making more a few week season than the men of the village made in a year. When Yoshiyuki began shooting in the late 1920s, there were several hundred ama divers active in the seven harbours of the Iwawada coast… By the late 1960’s this 2000 year old way of life had disappeared. Yoshiyuki’s images are the most comprehensive document of ama divers ever produced and a stunning visual testament to these fascinating iconic women.”