Among Japan’s last female free divers, Hayashi and Nakanishi stubbornly cling to the old ways of life. Their floor was covered with ashen planks, a charred kettle was on the boil and the roof was black with soot. Face masks and frayed rubber wet suits, the womens’ only concession to modernity, dripped metronomically from a rail....An expressive 61-year-old with sharp eyes, Hayashi began to tell her story. Every morning, in the predawn light, she would watch dozens of near-silent Ama process through the darkness of the dockyard with lit bamboo torches. Some would be bare-breasted, wearing just a fundoshi (loincloth) and tenugi (bandana). She would wave to her grandmother and mother, both veteran Ama, always wondering what drew them out beyond the swell of the waves. When she was 16, she was finally asked to join them.