City withdraws controversial 'ama' divers mascot

National Nov 6, 2015

City withdraws controversial 'ama' divers mascot

by Tomohiro Osaki

The city of Shima in Mie Prefecture has scrapped its endorsement of a controversial mascot slammed by some locals as overly sexual and demeaning to local ama divers. The move, announced Thursday, came after the city, slated to host next year's Group of Seven summit, ...

Skin divers turn to tourism to stem the tide

National Apr 24, 2014

Skin divers turn to tourism to stem the tide

by Chikako Mogi

At the Sea People restaurant in Shima, a coastal hamlet in Mie Prefecture, sea diver Machiyo Yamashita wants a piece of a tourism industry dominated by the cities that sapped her town's vitality by luring away its youth. "I want to cook and serve customers ...

Aging 'ama' female divers strive to revive ranks

National Jul 15, 2013

Aging 'ama' female divers strive to revive ranks

With the number of traditional "ama" female divers declining nationwide, their elderly ranks have stepped up efforts to recruit younger divers and promote their products as a formal brand to make the occupation more financially rewarding. The time and effort put into landing their catches ...