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Broome Japanese Cemetery

A stone obelisk commemorates the Japanese pearlers who were drowned in a cyclone.

The Japanese pearl divers were mostly from the Taiji province. Their diving ritual would often begin by downing a bottle of port, before donning their cumbersome vulcanised canvas suits and massive bronze helmets, after which they would be lowered over the lugger`s side to spend hours underwater. On the bottom they struggled about in lead-weighted boots, often almost horizontal as they peered through inch-thick faceplates into murky waters, frantically scooping oysters into bags because divers were paid by the amount of shell they collected.



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