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Embracing Farewells: Reflections on a Decade in Pearl Harvesting

Today marked the end of a two-month-long pearl harvesting operation on the beach. Tomorrow, I’ll be heading back home. I notified the company a few days ago that I’ll be resigning at the end of February. It’s been a hectic day, starting with dismantling the hotel room I’ve been staying in for 41 consecutive nights, followed by verifying the quantity of pearls harvested by the company, attending to bids directed at me, discussing the renewal of fishing licenses with the local promotion office, and buying gifts for the department head and site manager who have taken care of me.

In the evening, I had dinner with the site manager of the pearl cultivation farm. He expressed regret about my resignation. The dinner with him was as jovial as always.

As he got into the taxi at closing time, tears welled up in my eyes, thinking it might be the last time I see him. He said, “I was feeling a bit under the weather, but I’m feeling better now!” with tears in his eyes. After bidding him farewell, I cried intensely for about five minutes. Perhaps it was tears of wanting to work longer at this company where I’ve worked for almost a decade. Or maybe it was simply tears of parting with the site manager, who has been like a girlfriend, frequently calling during both tough and happy times over the past decade. I’m writing this article now to suppress the overwhelming tears. Just looking at the landscape of the island where this pearl cultivation farm is located makes me cry. Memories flood my mind.

While crying, I realized that I want to continue building relationships that involve tears of farewell.



I am part of a Japanese company with an Akoya pearl farm. Apart from the company, I personally run an Akoya pearl shop. I would appreciate it if I could share smiles with various people through pearls.

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