vol.34 Okinawa Craft Industry Promotion Center | おきなわ工芸の杜~琉球藍

Japan | 日本,Museum | 本・博物館,Okinawa | 沖縄




This year again in my favorite place, Okinawa, Japan, where in October 2023 it is still late summer, swimming and climbing waterfalls.
Of the 38 types of textiles designated as traditional handicrafts by the Japanese government, 1/3 are from Okinawa. There are weaving cooperatives in various parts of the country, and I went to the main island of Okinawa to see and experience all of them. When I was wondering where to go, I heard about a school my friend was attending.
Okinawan crafts? Artists doing traditional craft workshops? I had to go there! And with that, we hurriedly went to visit the Okinawa Craft Industry Promotion Center.




Okinawa Craft Industry Promotion Center is located in Mishiro near the airport and is a modern building that was just moved in 2022. It is located behind the Karate Kaikan, where karate masters from all over the world gather, and there were a few foreigners with good physique until we reached the entrance. Since we were there, we had some Karate Soba at the Karate Kaikan! The kelp represents a black belt. It was quite tasty.

At the Okinawa Craft Industry Promotion Center, young traditional craftspeople have rented ateliers and are now working in the area. Inside the building, there was an exhibition of traditional crafts and works by young artists for sale. There is also a one-year training course in “textile," “Bingata," “lacquer," and “woodcraft," and my friend is enrolled in this course. I envy her for being able to work surrounded by subtropical plants!



Today, we experienced weaving with yarn dyed with Ryukyu indigo at the Tamar indigo studio. We decided to make coasters. While being shown the Ryukyu indigo growing outside the window, we were told about the difference between it and DADARE-ANI. The fields of Ryukyu indigo are located in the northern part of the main island of Okinawa.

This is the third time for us to experience indigo weaving in Okinawa, following Shuri-ori and Kumejima Tsumugi. We were followed by a native of Okinawa, and we followed the sample as we wove, patting and patting. A cute coaster was made!