Mikimoto Kokichi was born in Toba in 1858 and became the first person to successfully cultivate pearls in the year 1893. He opened the first Mikimoto Pearl Store in 1899. The Mikimoto Kokichi Memorial Hall introduces his life story. Also located on the island, the Pearl Museum provides detailed explanations about pearls and the cultivation of pearls in Japanese and English. In the adjacent Pearl Plaza you can view and purchase a wide variety of pearl jewelry. The Mikimoto Pearl Island also offers hourly performances by female pearl divers, known as Ama (lit. "sea women"), who have traditionally been planting and harvesting the oysters (and other seafood).