In Wagu, a fishing village in the Ise Peninsula of Japan a group of women free-dive everyday not knowing what they’ll find. The Ama-San have been diving like this in Japan for over 2000 years.
While men were out hunting or fishing in high sea, generally for extended periods of time, women, in order to provide for their families, had to find other means of sustenance. The pearls from the oysters they sold, above all, associated them with a symbol of power, beauty and spirituality.
Stunning cinematography captures these dives, as the noon sunlight cuts through the water. With no aid from air tanks or any other tools to enable underwater breathing, their bodies are pushed to their limits.
Historically, the Ama’s diving allowed them to become independent and, in many families, women became the only working element. This phenomenon, in a country as patriarchal and conservative as Japan, has never again come to be.