Pearl cultivation in our area
In 1627, the Uwajima han formed a cooperative fishermen's organization in the "Yura Peninsula" in order to raise financial resources.Fishing in this remote area began and settlements were born, while the mountains were cleared and terraces were used for food.
During and after the war (around 1945), even the barley and potatoes produced in this area were used as controlled food, and during times of food shortages, they were provided to cities. The great harvest of sardines from around 1945 to 1951 brought a sudden boom to the area. However, overfishing led to poor catches, and the popularity of the time shifted from food to industrial products, while the low price of wheat and potatoes put a stop to the hardships of life. At that time, the cities were booming and labor was flowing from the peninsula to the cities.
Meanwhile, after the war, the pearl cultivation industry was resumed in Mie Prefecture. In the midst of free trade and global inflation, Japanese pearls sold and continued to double and double production and exports as Japan's flower industry. As the market expanded, Murata pearl from Mie Prefecture settled in Arashi Village in the Shimonada district here.
During this period, the pearl industry started in various parts of Japan through the production of pearl oysters by Mie Prefecture (pearl farming). Soon after, several members of the community became interested in pearl farming in the Uwa Sea. In the Shimonada area, pearl cultivation has been going on since 1966, when overproduction began, unit prices plummeted, and exports fell sharply.
However, the pearls of the Yura peninsula, as a wonderful pollution-free fishing ground, were traded as the best pearls through the diligent efforts of their predecessors, and production gradually increased.
In 1975, Ehime Prefecture became the largest pearl-producing prefecture in Japan, and at the same time the peninsula was experiencing a pearl boom. The people of the community worked diligently as a family from early in the morning until late at night. It was as if this beautiful ocean had given us infinite wealth.
In September 1995, a mass death of pearls struck the area. The cause of the mass deaths is still not known. Later, at this time, Ehime produced 90% of the nation's mother-of-pearl oysters, and pearl production fell sharply across the country.
In 2007, the first prize winner of the Ehime Prefecture Pearl Fair was born from among the diligent cultivators in this region who have honed their cultivation skills under this devastating situation. While continuing to cultivate our own fish, we would like to deliver each and every grain of our fish, which is the fruit of the bounty of the sea and the constant efforts of our producers.