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Mitsuko Amano was born in year 19 of the Showa Era (1944). World War II was still a year away from ending, and at the time nearly 2,000 people made their living on Shiraishi (White Stone) Island, the place she called home in the Seto Inland Sea.

Peaks of granite, never too far from the sea, were excavated to make monuments, graves and Shinto torii gates that were loaded onto ships and delivered to sites along the Honshu coast. The salty water, rich in kelp, lapped up to the rocky foot of the mountains, creating eddies that sheltered fish and shy agoraphobic mollusks.

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