Until 1866 it was a capital offence for Japanese to leave Japan. However, in the later part of the nineteenth century Japanese had begun to emigrate. Those who went toAustralia during the 1880s and 1890s largely worked as crew for Australianpearlers in northern Australia.
Although it is possible for food oysters to produce pearls, they should not be confused with actual pearl oysters, which are from a different family of bivalves. Trueoysters, which belong to the Ostreidae family, are found throughout the world'soceans, usually in shallow waters and in colonies called beds or reefs.