Ryukyu Arts, Naha, Okinawa, Japan

Two women at the Shuri Ryusen workshop photographed creating traditional Ryukyu Bingata textiles created by an unusual type of textile dying that uses sea corals, Naha, Okinawa, Japan

Two women at the Shuri Ryusen workshop photographed creating traditional Ryukyu Bingata textiles created by an unusual type of textile dying that uses sea corals, Naha, Okinawa, Japan

 

Okinawa has ceramic and lacquer arts, dyed-woven textiles, glass crafts and dance which originated during the days of the Ryukyu Kingdom (from the 14th to the 19th centuries) that have been carried on since then. The heritage of the Ryukyu Kingdom has been steadily handed down from generation to generation.

 

Natural fossilized corals are filed flat to become “molds” for “printing” textiles by rubbing the fabric with sponges filled with colored dyes, Naha, Okinawa, Japan

Natural fossilized corals are filed flat to become “molds” for “printing” textiles by rubbing the fabric with sponges filled with colored dyes, Naha, Okinawa, Japan

 

We stopped at Shuri Ryusen to see traditional Ryukyu Bingata textiles created by an unusual type of textile dying that uses sea corals. The fabric is placed on top of flattened natural coral “molds” and then the surface of the fabric is rubbed with a sponge that contains a single color of dye. The artists move the fabric around one or more corals and use different colors of dye to “print” fabric designs. The workshop had excellent examples of Bingata textiles – a style unique to Okinawa — that they produce.

 

Brightly colored dyes are used in printing the traditional Ryukyu Bingata textiles, Naha, Okinawa, Japan

Brightly colored dyes are used in printing the traditional Ryukyu Bingata textiles, Naha, Okinawa, Japan

 

Brushes and natural barks and plants that are ground for making dyes, Shuri Ryusen workshop, Naha, Okinawa, Japan

Brushes and natural barks and plants that are ground for making dyes, Shuri Ryusen workshop, Naha, Okinawa, Japan

 

Traditional Ryukyu textile on display (for sale) at Shuri Ryusen workshop, Naha, Okinawa, Japan

Traditional Ryukyu textile on display (for sale) at Shuri Ryusen workshop, Naha, Okinawa, Japan

 

A pottery designer carving an unfired piece of pottery in a style that is unique to Naha, Okinawa, Japan

A pottery designer carving an unfired piece of pottery in a style that is unique to Naha, Okinawa, Japan

 

After lunch we toured several pottery workshops located on Tsuboya Yachimun Street in the famous Naha pottery district. Pottery is called “Yachi-mun” in Okinawa. All pottery made in the various parts of Okinawa have a simple warm texture and hue which give them an additional charm. The representative production areas of today are Tsuboya in Naha City and Yachimun Pottery Village in Yomitan. Pottery is fashioned into jars, shisa lion figures as well as plates, bowls and coffee cups.

 

Beautiful finished pottery for sale at a gallery on Tsuboya Yachimun Street in the famous Naha pottery district, Okinawa, Japan

Beautiful finished pottery for sale at a gallery on Tsuboya Yachimun Street in the famous Naha pottery district, Okinawa, Japan

 

An award winning local dance troupe performed several Ryukyuan dances on board our ship before we sailed from Naha, Okinawa, Japan

An award winning local dance troupe performed several Ryukyuan dances on board our ship before we sailed from Naha, Okinawa, Japan

 

Ryukyuan dance is the traditional dance of Okinawa. The graceful dancers wear vividly colored bingata fabric costumes, which evoke the graceful court life during the Ryukyu Dynasty.

 

One of the local dancers wearing vividly a colored costumes after the Ryukyuan dance performances on our ship, Naha, Okinawa, Japan

One of the local dancers wearing vividly a colored costumes after the Ryukyuan dance performances on our ship, Naha, Okinawa, Japan

 

2 thoughts on “Ryukyu Arts, Naha, Okinawa, Japan

  1. Just reading your latest blog….we saw Hacksaw Ridge last night….I had put off seeing the film because of the violence and it’s a Mel Gibson film…but I put it on my Netflix queue and ended up seeing it…..a little over the top with the realistic battle scenes but all in all it was a great film and well worth seeing…..and a very different perspective on Okinawa.

    Myra Feiger 510.599.3760 Cell 510.886.0900 Home Myra@feiger.com

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Liked by 1 person

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