Don't miss the latest stories
Fascinating Vintage Photographs Of Japanese Diver 'Mermaids' (NSFW)
By Loke Shi Ying, 01 Jun 2014
Japanese photographer, the late Iwase Yoshiyuki, was born in a fishing village on the pacific side of the Chiba peninsula in Japan, where he grew up surrounded by the Ama, an ancient subculture of Japanese women who made a living from diving into the ocean for oysters and abalone.
Ama are often almost naked, wearing just a loincloth and a mask. They swim deep in the ocean for long periods of time without floatation or breathing devices.
The reason for their nakedness is because the modern swimming outfit did not exist until the 1950s, and the cotton costumes available to them made them feel colder when they were out in the water.
They also harvested seaweed and turban shells in freezing waters, for 2 minutes at a time and come up to breathe for just a few seconds. They would do this up to 60 times in a single diving session, up to three times a day.
These photographs were taken by Yoshiyuki in the 1920s, when Ama "mermaids" still existed.
[via Messy Nessy Chic]
More related news
Also check out these recent news