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Home of the cultured pearl, Toba in Ise-Shima has both history and living tradition

By Stephen Mansfield
- via The Japan Times    Apr 21, 2017
Credit : Special To The Japan Times

Dusky: The Ise Peninsula and its bays are known for their splendid sunsets.

‘To Bond,” Ian Fleming wrote in his 1964 novel, “You Only Live Twice,” “they all seemed beautiful in the soft evening light … the gleaming, muscled buttocks, cleft by the black cord, the powerful thong round the waist with its string of oval lead weights.”

Fleming’s eroticized description of an ama-san, the pearl divers of Ise-Shima, Mie Prefecture, came back to me as I stared transfixed, not a little bewildered, at a poster outside...

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