Hateruma is the most southerly inhabited island in Japan. It has its own police station, post office, school, awamori distillery and a summer festival called Mushama. I took a day off from scuba diving off Ishigaki and took the ferry down to Hateruma for the festival. The festival, as so many are, was a gold mine for a photographer. So many interesting faces, great costumes and a welcoming atmosphere. The majority of the spectators were island residents and their families that had returned for the event. Nobody minded that I was wandering around taking photos of everyone, and as usual I was up in people’s face shooting portraits.