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Alexander Zaxarov
May 12, 2021

Stefan Dotter documents Ama - the female Japanese sea divers.

The Ama. “Ama” literally translates to “sea women” and are a famed group of (mostly) women, who dive for pearls. Japanese tradition holds that the practice of ama may be 2,000 years old. Traditionally, and even as recently as the 1960s, ama dived wearing only a loincloth. Even in modern times, ama dive without scuba gear or air tanks, making them a traditional sort of free-diver.

Stefan Dotter decided to travel to Japan on a mission to document this practice, as it is a tradition that is fading into the past.

“As I headed out to the town of Osatsucho ( 相差町 ) in the Mie prefecture of Japan, the wonderful mother daughter team of Sanae & Shizuka Nakagawa took me in to show me their world beneath the surface and what it’s like to be an Ama in modern times” says the photographer.

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Alexander Zaxarov
May 12, 2021

Stefan Dotter documents Ama - the female Japanese sea divers.

The Ama. “Ama” literally translates to “sea women” and are a famed group of (mostly) women, who dive for pearls. Japanese tradition holds that the practice of ama may be 2,000 years old. Traditionally, and even as recently as the 1960s, ama dived wearing only a loincloth. Even in modern times, ama dive without scuba gear or air tanks, making them a traditional sort of free-diver.

Stefan Dotter decided to travel to Japan on a mission to document this practice, as it is a tradition that is fading into the past.

“As I headed out to the town of Osatsucho ( 相差町 ) in the Mie prefecture of Japan, the wonderful mother daughter team of Sanae & Shizuka Nakagawa took me in to show me their world beneath the surface and what it’s like to be an Ama in modern times” says the photographer.

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