Ryukyu BingataRyukyu Bingata Dyeing

Beginning of Ryukyu Bingata can date back to the mid-15th century.
Ryukyu Bingata is produced under the utmost protection of King prefecture, and colorfully-dyed pattern (bottles) of Ryukyu is named Orient flower cloth, and it is written down to history book of the early 19th century in Fujian market that it was famous trade product.
We received crushing blow, but the promotion is planned after organization of colorfully-dyed pattern preservation society, organization of Okinawa bottles tradition technique preservation fair, designation of "Officially designated Traditional craft products" of country in 1984 after the war by World War II.

The origins of Ryukyu Bingata dyeing can be traced back to the middle of the 15th century, when King Shoen was on the thrown. The court gave its unfailing patronage to the craft and according to a 1802 chronicle, Ryukyu Bingata was called a "floral cloth of the east" and was highly regarded at the market in Fuchien, China.
Although almost completely wiped out during the Second World War, efforts were made to revive this craft and in 1950, the Bingata Preservation Society and the Okinawa Bingata Preservation Society were formed. This was followed by government recognition in 1984, when bingata was formally designated as a Traditional Craft Product.

Bingata dyeing is the only dyeing craft in Okinawa combining the techniques of stencil dyeing from China and the hand dyeing skills of Kyoto yuzen. Silk, cotton and abaca, which is a banana fiber cloth, are hand dyed using pigments and vegetable dyes. The cloth known simply as bingata is brightly colored where as eshigata is vat dyed with Ryukyu indigo. Each one has an enigmatic appeal peculiar to the South Seas.

  • Notification

    skills and techniques

    Design be based on bottles design.

    You stick sketch on ground paper which let making paper by hand Washi Paper swell using persimmon juice or ground paper which is equal to this, and perform profiling by "projecting carving".

    Perform pattern arrangement of model charge account by manual labor.

    Use paste bag made of cloth for "pipe pull".

    "We shade off", and, "color," "we stencil" use writing brush or brush for design dyeing of dyed goods in the local area and the ground.

    Color of "color" and "shade" use color.

    Resist style is thing by model charge account, "pipe pull" or "paste lying down".

    Say that resist style seaweed mixed rice bran and salt with rice cake rice flour.

    Indigo dyeing of indigo plant type use Ryukyu indigo plant.

    Raw materials

    Assume dough silk fabrics, hemp cloth, abaca cloth or cotton Woven textiles.

  • Work scenery

    Ryukyu Bingata is greatly divided into two of indigo plant type to dye with colorfully-dyed pattern to use many colors for and indigo plant one color. Each has two kinds of technique of pipe pull representing design with print to use paper pattern for by hand. We can use properly by the standard length of cloth for kimono, obi, use including furoshiki. When we carve paper pattern of small design and add color to one one of the designs, concentration and scrupulous attention are necessary for all work. We dye the ground after dyeing part of design earlier.

    Process 1: Profiling

    Cloth of white background type and two kinds of Somechi model are on paper pattern. We stick sketch which we draw design on tanned paper becoming paper pattern directly or drew on tissue paper. We begin to carve from part of small design. We put the point of a sword of knife from durability, the top for front and cut perpendicularly. Projecting carving means this. We can express curve freely, and line of design is finished to thing warm easily. Paper pattern which went up performs carving of sand tension.

    Process 2: Model charge account

    We put paper pattern on cloth and paint with resist style paste with spatula so that irregularity does not have. Part lost carving of paper pattern of has paste, and it is put out print design by dough. Paste cooks thing which powdered sticky rice and rice bran and we add water and make.

    Video is played when we click image

    Process 3: Pipe pull

    It is technique representing design by hand without using paper pattern. We put resist style paste in the pipe bag of cotton and trace sketch which we drew on cloth while squeezing. Thing with something dynamism is made with printing. When we make big thing or bag such as furoshiki, we use.

    Process 4: Color (color)

    It shines and paints design in color by brush. We mix juice of soybean called soybean juice (gojiru) with color and make color. It shines by order from warm color system to cold color system.

    Process 5: Stencil (we drag twice)

    As color is hard to colonize, it shines once again and puts by brush and stencils well. After shining, and having painted by brush, we stencil and use brush. We stencil, and hair of woman is used for brush.

    Process 6: Shade off

    It is technique peculiar to Ryukyu Bingata. We classify dark color into design and attach gradation. We can enter half that we can enter to draw Japanese yen on edge of petal and can enter leaf vein of leaf, and it is likely and shade off. It is sultry after this and fixes color. We wash in water.

    Video is played when we click image

    Process 7: We turn down paste

    We attach resist style paste on the design before dyeing the ground.

    Process 8: Dyed goods in the local area

    We attach goods dyed deep blue to indigo plant pot and dyed goods in the local area paint with dye by brush and dye. We use wide brush.

    Process 9: Steaming

    It is sultry for approximately one hour and fixes color.

    Process 10: Washing in water

    We wash off extra dye, color which dough had, resist style paste. We dry and are completion.


  • Close-up

    Bright color not to lose in the south sun either

    In Okinawa where dyeing and weaving is prosperous, only one dyeing is Ryukyu Bingata. Originally the imperial family, woman of family with samurai antecedents wore as gorgeous kimono. Plain pattern harmonizes with bright color like southern country and attracts many women.


    Long-sleeved kimono of bottles is object of adoration

    On light green and pink cloth extended from the edge of studio to edge, flower of Easter lily and bougainvillaea dances. Sound called Shaka Shaka that writing brush rubs against cloth sounds. Minoru Sato of canopy of heaven colorfully-dyed pattern studio did color to clothes of special order in Masako of wife, Mayumi and family three of daughter.
    Minoru works on Ryukyu Bingata and is Master of Traditional Crafts with 27 years, high skill. We challenge new pattern eagerly and produce beautiful works in sequence.
    What "we can make all processes into by oneself is attractive. We can do it alone from beginning to end. What we drag image that came to mind and dye and make form is fun."
    When Mayumi of daughter reached coming-of-age ceremony five years ago, we made long-sleeved kimono and obi with family for two weeks. Long-sleeved kimono of gorgeous bottles is object of adoration in Okinawa. The elegance delighted eyes of many people.

    Gorgeous bottles are good to long-sleeved kimono

    Feeling and physical condition on the day emerge in color

    It is red, yellow, dark blue, bright color such as green to make bottles impressive. Color that was in climate shining in south bright light is used. We dye the ground with dye, and design does color in color. We had you show Minoru combination of color. It is juice of soybean called soybean juice (gojiru) and makes nine kinds of colors pasty and we combine it and make color. It is delicate work becoming different color with slight difference.
    When "feeling is substantial, color changes when we are not doing."
    State of heart and body just emerges in work. It is fear of handwork and is fun. 9-18 colors of colors to use for one work. It shines from light color of red system and gradually moves to dark color. We imprint to attach color that we painted with well. This is process peculiar to bottles. We place color once again and stencil by writing brush which we made with hair of woman from the top and let color be uniform.
    "Oguchi of paste which is painted cloth with by rubbing gets smooth, and it is in easy line. We help thickness of paper pattern, thickness of paste, everybody, and the softness of bottles is reflected."

    • Red, yellow, blue, green, purple are basic colors of bottles

    • We stencil color by writing brush of hair carefully

    We can tell classic to the next generation

    We plan exhibition touched casually while we work hard at production and repeat steady efforts to have you know bottles widely. Is apt to seem to be expensive kimono, but "design is classic, too, and color does not depend on the fashion, too. Because it does not become old, we can tell to the next generation. We think that it is not high at all when we think so."
    It is thoughtless and does not chase the fashion. Effort is necessary for not chasing the fashion. And we think about new pattern and coloration and do not forget to suggest new way of enjoying either.
    When "many colors enter, eyes go to person than kimono. Person wearing becomes more attractive. We want you to wear freely without being seized with age and manners. Not only kimono, we think that you may make evening dress. We are glad if you can use carefully."
    Eyes of Minoru who talked so seemed to fix their eyes on the future of Ryukyu Bingata well while pushing forward great process steadily.

    Some cloth producing are set in studio

    Craftsman profile

    Minoru Sato

    It was born in 1948.
    We participate in canopy of heaven colorfully-dyed pattern studio in 73. Master of Traditional Crafts Ryukyu Bingata business cooperative association's director.

    Minoru Sato who sits at cloth silently in studio


    Projecting carving to give tender line with taste

    There are a lot of unique technique in Ryukyu Bingata, but, as for "the projecting carving,"; is representative. Bottles have technique to use paper pattern. How to use knife when we carve the paper pattern is characteristic. We usually let knife slide toward you and cut paper. Line becomes sharp when we do it this way. Projecting carving puts knife for it from the top and we take down perpendicularly and cut.
    "It is difficult carving, but can carve curve freely when used. It becomes chubby soft line, and Sato says saying taste only in bottles appears.
    Because it is work to greatly control the completion, we take good care of tool. We make knife by oneself. We put blade to bamboo and fix with thread. We sharpen point of blade with grinder and keep curve. We put our ingenuity to be easy to employ each one.
    Warmth relieved at of Ryukyu Bingata was born in long process, but secret was covered in such an invisible place.

    • We use imprinting brush of various thickness properly



Industrial art object name Ryukyu Bingata
Phonetic symbol Ryukyu bottles
Classification of industrial art object Dyed Textiles
Main product Kimono place, obi, decoration cloth
Main production area Okinawa / Naha-shi, Ginowan-shi, Urasoe-shi, Itoman-shi, Tomigusuku-shi, Tamagusukuson, Shimajiri-gun
The designation date May 31, 1984

Contact information

■local production associations

Ryukyu Bingata business cooperative association
1-11-12, Maejima, Naha-shi, Okinawa
The first floor of the telephone building
TEL: 098-862-5594
FAX: 098-862-5594

■Associated exhibit space, facility


It is the only dyed goods in Okinawa that adopted technique of paper pattern of Chugoku, technique of Kyo Yuzen. We make hand dyeing using color, plant dye to cotton cloth, silk cloth, abaca cloth. There is "indigo plant type" (eshigata) by dip-dyeing (shinsen) of colorful "colorfully-dyed pattern" (bottles) and Ryukyu indigo plant. We have mysterious charm peculiar to southern country each.

Ryukyu Bingata is the only dyeing technique in Okinawa. It uses techniques introduced from China and Kyoto. Cotton, silk or bashofu textiles are hand-dyed with pigments and plants. Magnificent Bingata (red) and Eshigata (indigo) are typical. Both have fabulous charms unique to the tropical islands.

How to make

We describe sketch in dough without using "model charge account" (printing) and paper pattern by technique and put paste from sketch in muzzle of paste bag and are divided into "pipe pull" (we draw pipe) to color afterwards. In addition, color includes "colorfully-dyed pattern" and "indigo plant type". We give rukuju under the ground paper which making paper by hand (does) comes using persimmon juice, and laminated Washi Paper, and we carve convex with knife along sketch, and paper pattern does. Ombre dyeing called shade is given shioshi, the top, and, in the case of dyeing, shokuso expresses three-dimensional impression on part of design.

Ryukyu Bingata is made by either Katatsuke (stencil dyeing) or tsutsubiki, which directly draws draft patterns to the fabric and paint it after gluing. There are two color tones: Bingata (red) and Eshigata (indigo). A stencil for dying is made of washi papers bonded by persimmon juice. The stencil is underlaid by a rukuju (dried tofu) while carving. Patterns on the fabric are dyed by irosashi technique, and then kumadori (ombre painting) is applied to add stereoscopic effect.

Voice from production center

Creator of one is hearty handmade article per person. Please thoroughly enjoy Okinawa special cinnabar red color. In addition, we soak cotton and hemp in good-quality soapy water for a while and do rinse washing and dry without squeezing. Please give pongee and silk to specialized laundry man.