Yaeyama MinsaYaeyama Minsaa

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,
It is thought that mincer has been already woven these days in the Yaeyama district. In addition, it is said that the name of Yaeyama Minsa came from narrow obi (Sir) of cotton (min). There is custom to go, and to give man of heart from woman in the times of getting married, and design of five four is said to be "thing which promised love not to change to what time of world either".

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.
In the past, a woman would give a minsaa to a man she loved, the four or five patterns woven into the cloth being a sign of unfailing affection.

Both warp and weft threads are cotton and the ikat threads are tied by hand. The dyestuff is usually indigo producing a sea-blue like background on which the pattern is picked out in white in beautiful contrast. The main products are obi sashes for men and women and ties.

  • Notification

    skills and techniques

    Assume cloth with splashed pattern Woven textiles woven by the next technique or technique.

    Assume yarn-dyed vertical ribbed fabric.

    Use "hand throw shuttle" or "board shuttle" for implantation of weft.

    Staining of cloth with splashed pattern thread "binds hand"; niyorukoto.

    Raw materials

    Assume thread to use cotton yarn.

  • Work scenery

    We use cotton thread with the warp (tateito), weft (when we come). We dye the warp to have pattern of clean cloth with splashed pattern (cloth with splashed pattern), and line up, and it is on cloth by putting weft there. It is one phase, and work to weave takes the last effort with time that is long in previous preliminary arrangement.

    Process 1: Warp

    We calculate the number of warps necessary for width that we want to weave and prepare length. We perform about each of homespun thread that it is on cloth with splashed pattern thread becoming part of white square design, stripe thread that it is on part of white line, dark blue part. It is important work to decide width and the length of the obi.

    Process 2: We bind cloth with splashed pattern (we graze and bind)

    We perform dampening a sheet of paper of cloth with splashed pattern thread which we warped and do preparations for indigo dyeing. We bind with string so that liquid of indigo dyeing does not soak into part of cloth with splashed pattern which does not want to finish being white. We hit thread with ruler which we wrote size of cloth with splashed pattern and we mark thread and bind. We used plastic string, but did with skin of itobasho in old days now.

    Process 3: Indigo dyeing

    We soak thread which we bound cloth with splashed pattern to into water and rank liquid of indigo dyeing after spin-drying. We dye while moving to rub. We let you let you touch takeoff, air in two or three minutes and are oxidized and develop. It is repeated many times until it becomes color dark enough. Time and the number of times from about perception. Indigo plant uses indigo blue cultivating in field mainly. When we make color except indigo plant, we dye by Fukugi, artubus, gardenia, chinquapin, Mallotus japonicus, the deep red dew (cool).

    Process 4: Cloth with splashed pattern time

    If we be dyed, and cloth with splashed pattern thread goes up, we take off string which we bound carefully one by one. Attention is necessary not to cut thread.

    Process 5: kachitami (seaweed tension)

    It appears and swells and does and equalizes the tension of thread not to be out of design of cloth with splashed pattern when we weave. As cotton thread considerably lengthens, we prepare here. We put thread on stake which we drove into Ishigaki of house and perform. It becomes easy to weave by this work.

    Video is played when we click image

    Process 6: Temporary reed keeps on (kariosadooshi)

    We display the warps (homespun thread, cloth with splashed pattern thread, stripe thread) to become according to pattern and put through reed and confirm width of cloth.

    Process 7: We pass and wind up (vertical firewood)

    We put the warp which we put through temporary reed with pin and wind up while minding not to be out of cloth with splashed pattern. We wind off while repairing slack and distortion.

    Process 8: This and heddle is consecutive (we keep on asking so) reed is consecutive

    We put the edge of warp wound up into a roll through needle hole of heddle by anteroposterior one. We put thread which we let go through through this reed more. When we weave by appreciative clapping, we do not put through reed.

    Process 9: Weave

    We begin to weave after fixing the tension of thread. Using sword shuttle (touhi), we put weft (homespun thread which performed indigo dyeing) in the warp. If we weave and get nervous, we wash and finish. We bind cloth with splashed pattern, and the result of preliminary arrangements before weaving including kachitami leads to beauty of cloth.

    Video is played when we click image


  • Close-up

    Treasure which is still indispensable to living of island in old days

    Yaeyama Minsa to have history of 300 years. To one narrow obi, various thought of people who lived in the times in the time is put. For Uchimori, mincer is treasure of life. It is said that we want to continue weaving all the time from now on.


    To future husband, it is present from newly-married woman

    When we stepped cautiously on sand of pure white coral and looked in house of red cement tile among stone walls, two planes formed a line in porch. We are born and raised in here Taketomijima and are workshop of naisei sumi which got close to Woven textiles since childhood. Bright mincer of white cloth with splashed pattern (cloth with splashed pattern) hung over bluish ground to silk fabrics, another one to one.
    Narrow obi of cotton that mincer has been woven in Yonaguni, Yomitan, Shuri and various places throughout Okinawa other than Yaeyama. Thing of around 10 centimeters in width is basic by indigo dyeing, but design varies according to land slightly.
    Pattern of Yaeyama put rectangle of four and five together. To "when world (4) of (5) when wish is put for a long time", and engagement was decided, it is said that woman weaves, and gave man. Design of hemming seems to be meaning of "please go frequently" with foot of "yashirami" that is centipede.

    Uchimori who works hard at Woven textiles while running guest house

    We occupy, and good feeling is "appreciative clapping" Nara

    We had you show Uchimori place to weave. We begin to move shassha and hands and feet when we think whether you put small-sized body on plane smoothly. Some movement is different from ordinary weaver. This was how to weave Taketomijima called "appreciative clapping" peculiar to mincer.
    We put weft without hitting with reed (we suppose) of plane tap-tap when we put weft (when we come) between the warps (tateito) as if strongly pulling sword shuttle (touhi) toward you. There is power, and considerable mastery of skills is necessary to do width of obi constantly.
    "Appreciative clapping is great. But thing which weaves, and went up has taste. There is warmth. Thing which we wove with reed does not want to actually say mincer texture"
    There are people who are still particular about appreciative clapping, and weave although osada chiga increased after the war. It is soft with moisture I see when we compare two though thing of appreciative clapping is cotton. Eye is jam-packed, and design appears. We occupy above all and have a good reputation for good feeling, and taste seems to come out so as to use if we use.
    Obi is usable throughout the life if we obtain once. While oneself gets old in hand, we want to look at such an obi how you change.
    Only to thing to use for a long time, various thought is put on one piece of slim cloth.
    Though "it was our father, father of the master, grandmother who wove mincer in a childhood in this island did caretaker. Therefore we put on obi of the grandma all the time. It is from time when I came for wife. Thread of edge was cut after errand too much. We said to trade with my being new, and it was said that it was when "we are with one half of the body of mother because caretaker was done" and never occupied. We spent occasion for half all the time. It was that obi all the time until we died"

    We weave mincer by appreciative clapping

    The times when we helped people of Taketomijima

    It is nikaketedatta in the 40s from the Showa late 30s that Uchimori wove mincer most flourishingly. Tourists who visited Taketomijima increased and gained popularity as souvenir. Officer wife of the U.S. forces came over in group and might buy table center of obi and mincer.
    Even if 73 women of island wove, we were not in time. Family helped in a body. Grandmother makes the warp, and father winds up cloth with splashed pattern. We did indigo dyeing in each family.
    It is said that Mr. and Mrs. Uchimori was able to let children enter a school of higher grade because we regret the spare time and wove. Mincer became lifetime treasure for Uchimori. We keep one in mind recently among two planes though we came to often weave silk and hemp to always weave mincer.
    "We do not want to delete from plane. There is that we do not go when this does not do it in corner of heart even if we weave favorite thing. Feeling to say to pick up on plane all the time. It is important thing which helped me"
    People close mincer to kimono of abaca cloth called muicha and participate in dance at the time of shukotorisai which is the biggest event in Taketomijima. Thing that is indispensable to living of Yaeyama does not seem to have changing from now on in all ages either.

    • Bottom beats against reed appreciative clapping the top. Difference is clear

    • Colorful mincer which we dyed with plant dye

    Craftsman profile

    naisei sumi (house forest corner)

    It was born in 1925.
    We wrestle after the breeding, the marriage on seeing grasshopper of mother in earnest. Taketomi-cho Woven textiles business cooperative association's director.


    Hemp, Basho, silk……Woven textiles of various Taketomijima

    In rich naturally comfortable Taketomijima of Yaeyama Minsa, besides, linen Yaeyama Jofu, abaca cloth, cotton and various cloth reaching for a long time including Gun bow tie of ramie are woven.
    We are told that hemp was brought in the times of King of Ryukyu prefecture. Government official who came takes daughter called nubemaa of Nakasuji village with him/her, and it is handed down by Shuri Castle when he/she gave thanks linen seedling and pot.

    • Ramie taking indigo blue and thread of dye, field of Basho

    • Table center of mincer pattern is popular, too


Industrial art object name Yaeyama Minsa
Phonetic symbol yaeyamaminsa
Classification of industrial art object Woven textiles
Main product Men's things zone, woman's obi, tie, accessory
Main production area Okinawa / Ishigaki-shi, Taketomi-cho, Yaeyama-gun
The designation date April 11, 1989

Contact information

■local production associations

Taketomi-cho Woven textiles business cooperative association
381-4, Taketomi, Taketomi-cho, Yaeyama-gun, Okinawa
TEL: 0980-85-2302
FAX: 0980-85-2302

■Associated exhibit space, facility


The origin is the before 17th century. The etymology is not sure, but it is said that narrow obi "cotton narrow obi" of cotton became "mincer". Cloth with splashed pattern is yarn-dyed vertical ribbed fabric of indigo plant by hand binding. Obi for man who five cloth with splashed pattern and four cloth with splashed pattern were arranged in turn, and had meaning "for a long time until what time of life".

The origin of Yaeyama Minsa goes back to times older than 17th century. Also the etymology is uncertain, although it is said that the word “Mensaobi (narrow cotton sash)” became Minsa. Kasuri is is bundled by hand, dyed indigo beforehand, and woven corduloy. The sash is worn by men. Kasuri patterns with four and five rectangular shapes are placed alternatively to pray for longevity.

How to make

We throw out hand to shukatsu (kuku) ride, yarn-dyed vertical furrow texture, implantation of weft and weave cloth with splashed pattern using shuttle (hi) or sword shuttle.

Kasuri is bundled by hand, dyed ikat and woven corduloy using hand shuttle or Tojo (blade shuttle).

Voice from production center

Yaeyama Minsa is woven with cotton thread. Thread is finished dyeing in hue of southern country-like nature with plant dye growing wild in hills and fields. Including obi for man, obi, mat, tie for woman, bag material are woven, too.