Reminiscing over a Bowl of Miso Soup


My research into ama divers took me to the town of Osatsu-cho in Toba City, Mie Prefecture. This district has the highest number of ama divers in Japan. The taxi driver who drove me from Toba Station to Osatsu-cho told me that his mother had been an ama diver, and the head of the local neighborhood association who explained the town’s history to me also said that his mother had been one. In the past it was usual for women born in Osatsu-cho to become ama divers.  

Maybe because of the district’s nature as a fishing community, all of the women I met there were affable and bubbly. Shizuka Nakagawa, the youngest in a three-generation family of ama divers whom I interviewed, was also ebullient—and very attractive as well. Not surprisingly, this year she was crowned Miss Ise-Shima.  

Following Shizuka’s recommendation, I went to the Jinkai restaurant, where I ordered a sashimi set meal. As I tucked in, a faint sweetness lingered in my mouth, and I remembered the owner of a sushi restaurant once saying that really fresh and tasty fish has a sweet flavor to it. And the miso soup with juicy clams was superb. For some reason, it made me think of my mother.  

For Japanese, the taste of miso soup inevitably brings back memories of mum’s home cooking. (SM)











Copyright © 2018 IHCSA. All Rights Reserved.