Today only about 2,000 Ama divers remain in Japan. About 800 of them reside in the Ise-Shima area of Japan’s Mie prefecture, a region especially known for its rich waters. Many of these women are in their 60s and have been diving their entire adult lives. Captain Masumi and his team dive once a day, usually six days a week. They hunt for seafood in open ocean waters: sea cucumbers, seaweeds, turban shells and the precious abalone. The whistling noise these women emit when coming up for air is called “isobue” or “ocean whistle”.


A project by Cartography Magazine, Issue 4
Director Luca De Santis. Music “Raintrain” (Only Silence Remains) by Christine Ott.
Thanks to Ise Shima Toba Inbound Association and Japan National Tourism Organization JNTO.