Drying of Laver at Shinagawa, c. 1910
“[I]n May, when the fall of the spring tide bares long stretches of beach at Shinagawa, a scene of picturesque animation is presented by gaily dressed maidens and youths delving for shell fish in ankle-deep water.”
– Handbook of Information for Shippers & Passengers, published by Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK), 1904
“The air is like a tonic, though the breeze, gently blowing from the sea, is not free from the chilly remnant of Winter. The sun, shining through that soft and misty atmosphere characteristic of the cherry blossom season, is as warm as eiderdown.
“The tide has receded so much that blackish sandy beds are revealed, and there and there are pools of water reflecting the milky clouds or rippling in the red shadow of the Japanese women’s petticoat.
“Bare-footed or wearing rubber boots, with trousers rolled and kimonos turned up at the knee, the people, flushed with enthusiasm, bend down over the muddy beds, digging here and poking there to gather shell-fish.
“… One hears the merriment of children who find big clams and the disappointment of men who, after great efforts, are only able to unearth the vest-button sized pullets. They are slippery customers, these clams, pullets, whelks and cockles. A thrust of the fork deep down under the sand and the quick jerk upwards, and there is no escape for these tiny denizens of the sand.”
– “Shell Gathering at Low Tide”, by Tomijiro Nakazato, Travel in Japan, Vol. 4 No. 1, 1938