Takayo Iwaki and her husband and son plant nucleus in Japanese akoya shells in Shima, western Japan

 
Takayo Iwaki and her husband and son plant nucleus in Japanese akoya shells in Shima, western Japan
Takayo Iwaki (L) and her husband Hiroshi (C) and their son Hideo plant nucleus in Japanese akoya shell to prepare for pearl cultivation in Shima, western Japan, May 27, 2009. Japan's akoya pearl industry, which began in the 1890s when Kokichi Mikimoto created the world's first cultured pearls, is facing collapse due to plunging sales and stiff competition from China. Picture taken May 27, 2009. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao (JAPAN SOCIETY EMPLOYMENT BUSINESS)