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TRADITIONAL CRAFTS

Okinawa

Kumejima Tsumugi

Kumejima Pongee

Woven textiles

In the about 14th century, the weaving method to assume India the origin was conveyed by southern trade.

Originating in India, this method of weaving was introduced into Japan around the 14th century along eastern trade routes.

Okinawa

Miyako Jofu

Miyako Fine Ramie

Woven textiles

-like, Funagadai where we put gift of Ryukyu on now 400 years ago encountered, and man of Miyakojima which just rode on place that almost sank jumped into the sea bravely and repaired broken place of ship and saved life of all her crew.

Four hundred years ago, a boat carrying Okinawan tributes was caught in a typhoon. A man, who happened to be on board from Miyakojima called Sugamayonin Shin'ei, heroically dived into the sea when the boat was about to sink and repaired the damage thus saving the lives of all the crew. Recognizing his bravery, the King of Ryukyu made him a monk. In return, Shin'ei's wife was overjoyed and lovingly wove a piece of cloth to give to the King, and it was this cloth that is said to be the origin of Miyako Jofu.

Okinawa

Yomitanzan Hanaori

Yuntanza Hana-ui Fabrics

Woven textiles

It is thought that we passed from design peculiar to Kaori from the south, but is missing at the time.

Although it is uncertain actually when, some people think that this type of weaving came from the South because of its very particular floral designs. What is certain, however, is that the cloth was being produced in the 15th century because records show that gifts of this figured cloth were sent to Korea.There are also records of the cloth being presented to the King of Ryukyu from Java.

Okinawa

Yomitanzan Minsa

Yuntanza Minsaa

Woven textiles

Opening is product which influence of southern country is strong in in Yomitanzan Hanaori and the same period. Production had been cut off at one time, but it was revived by the elderly who knew old days well.

The weaving of this cloth started about the same time as the Yomitanzan Hanaori Fabrics and is similarly characterized by its tropical feel and motifs. Production ceased for a time but was revived by elderly people who knew the techniques involved.

Okinawa

Ryukyu Kasuri

Ryukyu Ikat

Woven textiles

As for the beginning of Woven textiles of Okinawa, Chugoku of the 14th to the 15th century and trade with Southeast Asia are considered to be opportunity.

The roots of this cloth go back to the 14th and 15th centuries when there were exchanges and trade with China and countries in South East Asia. These kimono cloths are mainly a kasuri or ikat type with repeated patterns of a tropical flavor. Despite its long history, it was not until about 1920 that a fully fledged center for weaving was established. Since then traditional skills and techniques peculiar to this weave have become more widespread in use and continue to this day.

Okinawa

Shuri Ori

Shuri Fabrics

Woven textiles

Ryukyu kingdom of the 14th to the 15th century traded with with Southeast Asia and Chugoku flourishingly and learned technique of texture by the interchange. Ryukyu Woven textiles with various individuality that repeated time of the next several hundred years, and were brought up in climate climate of Okinawa was brought about.

Trade flourished between the kingdom of Ryukyu and China and South East Asia during the 14th and 15th centuries and weaving techniques were learned through these exchanges. Nurtured by the Okinawan climate and developed over the centuries, a number of textiles, each with their own characteristic traits, came into being. One of these was a cloth produced in Shuri.

Okinawa

Yonaguni Ori

Yonaguni Fabrics

Woven textiles

Yonagunijima is island of border at the westernmost tip of Japan. The history of Woven textiles born in this island is old, and it is thought that there is the history of about 500 years from old documents.

Situated on the extreme western boundary of Japan, records show that weaving on Yonaguni Island dates back some 500 years, and cloth was already being paid as a tax during the 1520s. During the difficult times after World War II, fishing nets were unraveled to provide yarn for this cloth, which is still woven by the women, who devote so much time producing this cloth that is very representative of the island's natural environment.

Okinawa

Kijoka No Bashofu

Kijoka Banana Fiber Cloth

Woven textiles

It is thought that abaca cloth has been already made in the about thirteenth century, but it becomes in the early modern times to have spread out among people and is after.

It seems that banana fiber cloth was already being made around the 13th century but it was much later that it became popular. In the old days banana trees were planted in gardens and fields, and the womenfolk of a family wove it into fabric for home use. Silk and cotton became much more readily available during the 19th century but people still enjoyed wearing banana fiber cloth. Kijoka no Bashofu, which carries on these traditions, was designated as a cultural property by the Prefecture in 1972 and two years later in 1974 it was made an important intangible cultural property by the nation.

Okinawa

Yaeyama Minsa

Yaeyama Minsaa

Woven textiles

Because we come from Afghanistan through Chugoku, and, in the early 16th century of the King prefecture era, use of cotton cloth (mincer) is written down,

There are records confirming that a cotton cloth or minsaa which had originated in Afghanistan and had been brought to the Ryukyus from China was in use at the beginning of the 16th century at the Ryukyu court. It seems fairly certain, therefore, that minsaa was already being woven in the Yaeyama area about this time. The name minsaa is derived from min meaning cotton and saa meaning narrow band.

Okinawa

Yaeyama Jofu

Yaeyama Ramie

Woven textiles

It was invaded and attacked, and Ryukyu was related by having been forced to weave for capitation tax that came to be imposed on for technical improvement of Yaeyama Jofu in Satsuma equal to current West Kagoshima in the early 17th century.

Satsuma was one of the old provinces occupying what is now the western part of Kagoshima Prefecture at the southern end of Kyushu. Forces from Satsuma invaded Ryukyu in 1609 and the compulsory weaving of Yaeyama Jofu to pay a poll tax that was levied, in turn led to an improvement of techniques.

Okinawa

Chibana Hanaori

Chibana Hanaori

Woven textiles

Skills and techniques already established in the late 19th century, and utchaki (jacket), tisaji (handkerchief) for sacred rites, do gin (life jacket), kimono were continued weaving with kind of fabric with a mosaic waving pattern thing which Chibana Hanaori woven flourishingly for a long time in former Misatomura (Chibana, Noborikawa of current Okinawa-shi, area of Hitoshi Ikehara) passed, and made full use of technique of floating Kaori after the Meiji era. They received crushing blow in World War II, but clothes of Chibana Hanaori are worn by traditional event (usudeku) to pray for staple grains abundant harvest and perfect state of health now.

Since ancient times, Chibana Hanaori has been woven in the former Misato-son (currently the Chibana, Noborikawa, and Ikehara regions of Okinawa City).

Okinawa

Haebaru Hana Ori

Woven textiles

Haebaru Hana Ori is Woven textiles produced in Haebaru-cho, Okinawa after the Meiji era. Unique name and designs of kuwankuwan Kaori, chippugasa, Kyan of eight pieces exist in beautiful three-dimensional pattern like flower comprised of organization texture.