Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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Ama no fūshi Shishū Toba Shinju ga shima (Set of eight black and white postcards in a sleeve printed with an image of a female diver underwater at Toba Harbour, Shishū (present-day Mie Provence))
  • Taisho Hato Brand, publisher
  • Ama no fūshi Shishū Toba Shinju ga shima (Set of eight black and white postcards in a sleeve printed with an image of a female diver underwater at Toba Harbour, Shishū (present-day Mie Provence)), 1933–1945
  • Where object was made: Japan
  • offset printing
  • Sheet/Paper Dimensions: each postcard 9.1 x 14 cm
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: each postcard 3 9/16 x 5 1/2 in
    Object Height/Width: sleeve 10 x 14.6 cm
  • Gift of Robert A. Hiller
  • Not on display
  • 2013.0116.01-8
Multimedia
Description
Inscriptions/Signature

Each card depicts scenery and people related to pearl diving and collecting in Japan. This group of 8 postcards captures the incredible occupation of the legendary ama pearl divers of Japan. Renowned for free diving, the ama were originally revered for their ability to harvest seafood, and in recent decades became tourist attractions as pearl divers. Woman divers are believed to tolerate cold water better than men, however traditionally they rarely wore swim suits as depicted in these postcards.