The Seas Come Still

J.P. Jamin

October 2015
Kuzaki, Japan

 

Doctor Yumi Daikokuya kneels in the tidal shallows, in the shelter of the shima—the coastal rocks of the Kuzaki peninsula where she was born.

Her head lies half in the water, as though straining for a whisper. As her tears dissolve in the sea, it occurs to her that the sea, in its turn, dissolves in them, each drop absorbing all the majestic sadness of the Pacific.

“Umi wa gyōsan no Ama no namida ga fukuma rete oru.” The last words she heard her mother say, so long ago.

“The sea holds a multitude of Amas’ tears.”

That rustic Mie-ken dialect she struggled to shed like a snake skin after her departure. Suffering its itch all through university, then Osaka Medical College. So awkward she thought she sounded to her professors, the big city students. The handsome residents who invited her for coffee and ice cream. So much the daughter of a sea woman.
She lets the salt water fill her nose.

So much an Ama.

As hard as she once pushed her mother from her mind, she labors now to remember her. Dirty complexion, lined by the sun and salt. Hands mottled with the scars of sea rocks and shellfish spines. Graceful as a minnow in the freezing water. But stooped and waddling as she shouldered her catch up the beach each morning to warm her sinuses by the fire before starting back down. Already old, more than twenty years ago.

The eldest dive longest, and deepest, Yumi remembers.

The few Ama that remain in Kuzaki are all old now. Hundreds once dove the coast, its treasures buying them a freedom enjoyed by no other women of Asia. Independence from convention, government, husbands. In prolonged cold water immersion, a woman’s body is her advantage, a physical inheritance that can be passed from mother to daughter. If the daughter wishes to follow in that life.

The Seas Come Still Description:

A sweeping historical novel of mystic discovery. Two stories woven across three thousand years, from the fall of ancient Minoa to the dawn of the Age of Reason. Can history as we know it be only part of the human story? Have sacred teachings survived the ashes of natural cataclysm and persecution to reemerge, more relevant now than ever before?

Meticulously researched, sumptuously styled, The Seas Come Still invites you into the hearts and minds of a closely guarded sisterhood, separated by millennia, but linked by a code of love and service older than faith itself. The ignorant have called them witches, mermaids, or worse, but they are the guardians of a secret dating back to the destruction of Minoan Atlantis, and a lifestyle pressed nearly to extinction by the depletion of earth’s natural resources. The Seas Come Still takes you on an unstoppable three thousand year journey across culture and language, healing and war, faith and fable. Witness the catastrophe that brought down the mighty kingdoms of the bronze age, the chaos that gave birth to our modern religions, the astounding secrets of Minoan navigation and science, undiscovered for millennia. From the palaces of Canaan to the windswept coasts of western Ireland, from ancient Turkey to the mountainous Basque region of Spain, discover the thread, lost but never broken, that binds us all to our destiny.

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