Yaeyama JofuYaeyama Ramie

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.
Association was formed at the end of the Meiji era after the capitation tax abolition and became popular as industry very much. However, we were cut off in the Great War of Showa at one time and were continued in several people quietly after the war.

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.
After the tax was abolished in 1907, a union was set up and the weaving of this cloth prospered as an industry. Weaving ceased for a time due to World War II but was revived gradually after the conflict was over.

Using patterns which are common to other ikat weaves in Okinawa, the yarn is a hand spun ramie, or china grass. Being a hand-woven cloth, there are slight differences in color and pattern and no two pieces are the same. It has a light touch making it an ideal cloth for a summer kimono. The main products are kimono fabrics, obi sashes, wall hangings etc.

  • Notification

    skills and techniques

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

    Assume yarn-dyed plain weave.

    Use "hand throw shuttle" for implantation of weft.

    Thing by "we bind hand" or staining of cloth with splashed pattern thread "includes handrail".

    Raw materials

    Assume thread to use cho hemp thread or "hand sea" nocho hemp thread.

  • Work scenery

    From cultivation of ramie (choma) of raw materials of thread to place to dye, and to weave, we perform by hand. In how to dye, there are two kinds of textile printing (nassen) to stencil dye by tie-dyeing (kukurizome) that katsu (kuku) adds thread to dye by hand and writing brush of bamboo. Pattern of cloth with splashed pattern (cloth with splashed pattern) graphically designed flow, chicken of water, tool of imminent creature and life including firefly. Design of illustrated map book sent as remit in the times when we put superior grass cloth for tax by King prefecture of Shuri is still succeeded.

    Process 1: We take thread out of ramie

    We can harvest ramies with plant of Urticaceae 4 or 5 times a year. We dip into water for several hours if we harvest and cut a certain fiber inside of the epidermis and stroke by lost knives and take. It blooms finely on tiptoe and spins while moistening with water after having dried in the shade. The warp (tateito) gives a twist in spinning wheel. Weft (when we come) gives a twist by hand while spinning. As you must make constant thickness, it is experience and work that perseverance is. Grandmothers in their 80s play a key role and spin.

    Video is played when we click image

    Process 2: Warp

    According to design, we divide into cloth with splashed pattern thread becoming homespun thread becoming part of the ground and part of cloth with splashed pattern and we calculate the number and length and fix. Because mio including gap of cloth with splashed pattern and stain of dyeing prevents, we starch and we enlarge and dry.

    Process 3: Bind (in the case of tie-dyeing)

    We mark thread with ruler board so that part of the ground is not dyed and bind with cotton thread and plastic string well. Then, we put in the water and drop seaweed of part to dye.

    Process 4: Dyeing

    As for the dye, things growing wild are often found, and Yaeyama special Kool (as for the deep red dew, Japanese name Some monopotato), Fukugi, mutual love tree, indigo blue are used.

    We bark and make lowering, liquid which we boil to bring out the flavor and filtered dye. It has a high quality so that red-brown color is dark. We perform mordanting using alum, limewater, ash water, iron to soak thread in liquid, and to make dyeing, color development better.
    Mutual love tree
    We boil leaf to bring out the flavor and make dye. We soak thread into liquid which we filtered through cloth and dye. We perform mordanting to make color development better. From ecru to bright yellow, color of several kinds appears.
    Indigo blue
    Every branch harvests and puts with reckoning, weight as water for one day. When we take out branch and we mix lime with liquid and stir, lime and pigment of indigo plant which combined precipitate. We throw away supernatant liquid. We repeat this work and make deposition indigo plant and put in the pot. We begin fermentation in approximately ten days when we add ash water, water. We put thread to steal indigo plant and dye while letting you take out and touch air. It is repeated several times and dyes.

    Process 5: Intricate design head (ayatsuburu) rewind

    We dye and we put cloth with splashed pattern thread which we untied and increase binding and put through reed according to design. We wind off to intricate design head while putting cardboard not to be out of pattern of cloth with splashed pattern.

    Process 6: In the case of textile printing

    We grate Kool and we dry juice which we squeezed in the sun and make concentrate. This becomes dye. We calculate the number of threads of lateral cloth with splashed pattern and run to wooden frame of texture width and stencil dye to stencil by bamboo writing brush on part that it is to handle. Cloth with splashed pattern thread which did temporary reed all through print-dyes after winding off to intricate design head.

    Process 7: Lord of a manor (we close grandfather) rewind

    We wind homespun thread which did temporary reed all through off to lord of a manor while putting cardboard.

    Process 8: Texture

    In one on plane, we set lord of a manor below and maintain print-dyed intricate design brain to heddle and reed. That as Yaeyama-type tall handloom is divided into intricate design head and lord of a manor, wind off; because is easy to work and is regulated with weight, uneven weave becomes hard to appear. The whole plane is short, and it is feature that we pass, and there are few gaps of cloth with splashed pattern.

    Video is played when we click image

    Process 9: Sea zarashi

    We expose to sun drying, color domeoshitaato, seawater. White superior grass cloth whitens more, and there is effect to fix color of cloth with splashed pattern. It is technique only in Yaeyama using the sea and the sun.

    Process 10: Mallet-bashing

    We wind up superior grass cloth which washes, and performed tension on log and swat with mallet from cloth of cotton. It is shiny, and texture and feel improve.


  • Close-up

    Tropical delicate beauty that was brought up naturally

    The feel and cool colored pattern that woven Yaeyama Jofu was silky in shubo gino hemp thread are the history. Popularity is high as summer kimono. We asked Sachiko Aragaki who won many prizes with superior work about nature and superior grass cloth of Yaeyama.


    Times, Yaeyama of King of Ryukyu prefecture were supply places of dye

    In work of Aragaki, gentleness to love freshness and nature such as wind across Wakaba is felt. For example, exhibition product of this year of "offing exhibition" when art industrial artists of Okinawa gather. It was one piece that white cloth with splashed pattern was very refreshing in place of green light and shade.
    As for "this, mountain is beautiful a lot of February from the end of January. We become spirited with young leave. The most favorite tree is mutual love tree. Leaf is thin, and sunshine filtering through foliage is very beautiful. We went to look at sunshine filtering through foliage well"
    Aragaki to like walking mountain talked about superior grass cloth being product of nature of Yaeyama in modest tone.
    It is said that it is tropical northern limit when we look at Yaeyama by distribution of plant. Therefore few dye plant is available in Okinawa Island and Miyakojima. For example, cool (as for the deep red dew, Japanese name Some monopotato). We carve something like potato and take down and dye with juice which we squeezed. I do not need trouble to decoct like other dye. In the times of Ryukyu kingdom, we seemed to ship to Kumejima by order of King prefecture.

    Sachiko Aragaki who weaves superior grass cloth in Yaeyama expression tall handloom

    Color that we dyed with plant does not have unpleasant color.

    We have abundant other dye, too and use thing in mountain and garden without unreasonableness. Aragaki repeats yellow and indigo that decocted peel of a tree called Fukugi and dyes and provides green.
    Though "we were well asked whether you liked as there were many green works, we did not like particularly and dyed because Fukugi got a lot by chance."
    Fukugi is planted in many places as windbreak forest of mansion. For 100 years, thing of 200 years becomes big tree as we cannot hold. We go when we hear story cut down at time to rebuild house to take skin in the house. People making container use trunk. It is wonderful recycling. When a lot of fruits of gardenia of garden were produced, we make it dye. Tree of big chinquapin fell down if we said to pusher of typhoon, and pure silver gray (ginnezu) appeared when we dyed. Aragaki "color that dyed does not have unpleasant color with plant. , is color that all are beautiful; as for that is; it is said.

    This area unique dye, section of Kool

    The sea and the sun of cobalt blue whiten cloth

    It keeps condition except dye, too. Ishigakijima has good water. This is important thing for dyeing and weaving, too. As there was mountain, and it could cut and bring down wood in tool, it was helpful that there were many armor-back held-flag carpenters from old days. This plane being improved, and tall handloom having been made for the first time in Okinawa; it is said that local.
    End is the sea of cobalt blue. Cloth which we wove is exposed to seawater and the sun and adds to innocence. Soft white peculiar to Yaeyama Jofu comes out of this "sea zarashi". Scene which white cloth shakes forever in the transparent sea is thing only in south island.

    Innocence peculiar to sea zarashiniyotte superior grass cloth appears

    While being based on classic, work with a view of face

    Yaeyama Jofu is unique. From design, one is in charge of dyeing, texture, finish.
    "Each one makes work with a view of face. There is joy that one thing is completed if we move own body"
    It is said that finished thing cancels trouble through difficult binding and monotonous work. We asked Aragaki future ambition.
    "We are relieved when we see classic pattern. There is mysterious power. It is 30 years facing thread which thinks that work which wants to restore classic pattern, and adopted quality of Okinawa well should be done. It looked like it did not run out to want to do it still more.

    • Work of Aragaki

    • Work of Aragaki

    Craftsman profile

    Sachiko Aragaki (arakakisachiko)

    It was born in 1945.
    We brought back tie-dyed Yaeyama Jofu cut off after study wonderfully. Work is appreciated.


    Until we bring back lost "tie-dyeing"

    "Color entered place where there were only tea and white. Because we wanted to use all color, people who did tie-dyeing increased more and more."
    Sea zarashio was what we brought back, and one of print-dying came to have good quality. Saying "it is possible for thing which is not done by textile printing by tie-dyeing including pattern of millimeters unit"; Matsutake. Small delicate thing of cloth with splashed pattern is made now. It is textile printing of tea cloth with splashed pattern and colorful tie-dyeing on cloth of white background. Two superior grass cloth is competing for individuality now.

    • We can provide various colors at tie-dyed revival

    • Mini-Shiisa which we made with superior grass cloth is popular among youths

    • We use thread which we spun from ramie (choma) by hand



Industrial art object name Yaeyama Jofu
Phonetic symbol yaeyamajofu
Classification of industrial art object Woven textiles
Main product Kimono place, obi, tapestry, noren
Main production area Okinawa / Ishigaki-shi, Taketomi-cho, Yaeyama-gun
The designation date April 11, 1989

Contact information

■local production associations

Ishigaki-shi Woven textiles business cooperative association
Ishigaki-shi, Okinawa 783-2, Tonoshiro
TEL: 098-082-5200
FAX: 098-082-5200

■Associated exhibit space, facility


Design uses Ryukyu Kasuri same as other Okinawa Woven textiles. As weft is woven in shubo (we pile up) gino ramie (choma) and is dyed with plant dye and it is handwoven and is produced, colors are delicately different, and, as for the thing same as one, there are none. In addition, it is comfortable and we look cool and are most suitable as kimono for summer.

Ryukyu kasuri, also common to other Okinawan clothings, are used as its patterns. Yaeyama Jofu is made of hand-twisted ramie weft, dyed with plants and hand woven. This makes subtle difference in every clothings. It is suitable for summer as they are smooth and gives cooler impression.

How to make

Dyeing adds thread to shukatsu (kuku) rino technique to be known nationwide using hand yarn of ramie removed a few times a year, and, using plant dye called the rouge dew (cool) that Ishigakijima is said to be northern limit, dyeing by textile printing (nassen) is performed, too. Finally we expose to seawater for approximately five hours and finish.

Ramie, which can only harvested few times a year, is used for its material. Dying methods called tekukuri and nassen is well-known nationwide. It is said that Ishigakijima is the northern limit to use Kuru for dying. It is finished by soaking into seawater for five hours.

Voice from production center

As well as plant dye, it is said that generally color is vulnerable to direct rays of the sun, but there is property to thicken, and color is most suitable for the rouge dew growing wild only in Yaeyama district in the country for dye for summer so as to expose if we expose to Nikko.