What to buy in Okinawa! Okinawan Traditional Crafts
See, Touch and Get! Things to Buy in Okinawa
Are you looking for what to buy in Okinawa? Here, we would like to introduce traditional and handmade crafts in Okinawa such as Yachimun, Ryukyu Bingata, or Minsa textile.
Okinawan crafts have been popular souvenirs or things to make by yourself.
Must see! Beautiful things to buy in Okinawa
Crafts and folkcrafts in Okinawa make us feel the history of Ryukyu Kingdom.
Popular items are dyed fabrics and glassware of tropical color, or ceramics with placid atmosphere.
When you visit Okinawa, those traditional crafts are things to see and buy!
Here, we introduce wonderful crafts that have been handed over in Okinawa.
[Types of crafts]
Okinawan pottery “Yachimun”
“Yachimun” means “ceramics (Yakimono in Japanese)” in Okinawan language. Pottery made of clay in Okinawa and unique Okinawan glaze portrays natural features of Okinawa. We can see warm atmosphere and powerful paintings on Yachimun. Famous “Yachimun” is tableware of Tsuboya pottery or “Shisa.” Shisa is guardian lions in Okinawa. Cute Shisa is one of the best things to buy in Okinawa!
Okinawan dyed fabrics “Ryukyu Bingata”
“Ryukyu Bingata” is general term for dyed fabrics in Okinawa. “Bin” means color, “Gata” means pattern.
Okinawan dyed fabrics are nurtured in Okinawa with influence of Southeast Asia and China. Bingata is characterized by tropical brightness and delicate elegance. “Eshigata” is one of “Bingata” which has beautiful blue.
Brilliant Beauty of Okinawa! Bingata Fabric
“Okinawa Bingata fabric” is traditional dyed crafts in Okinawa. Brilliant and colorful Ryukyu Bingata was once loved as kimono for loyal family or samurai family. Also, it was important trading goods. Here, we introduce its history and production process.
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Okinawan glasswork “Ryukyu glass”
“Ryukyu glass” is rather new craft that was started to produce after the end of WWⅡ. People started to produce glassware from recycled empty bins like beer or coke that was wasted in base of the United States. Ryukyu glass has refreshing tiny bubbles and various colors. Ryukyu glass is also popular thing to buy and thing to experience in Okinawa! How about getting Ryukyu glass and awamori (shochu in Okinawa)?
Surprisingly, 12 kinds of Okinawan textiles are designated as traditional crafts. Each textile has different technique and feature depends on regions and developed as trading commodities or offering for Ryukyu kingdom. There are “Yaeyama Minsa”, “Kijoka Bashofu”, “Shuri-Ori”, or “Miyako Jofu.” Many studios open workshops. When you visit Okinawa, Okinawan textile is one of the indispensable things to see and do.
Okinawa is Filled with Beautiful Textiles!
Okinawa textile have been nurtured by tropical nature and thoughts of Okinawan people. Elegant “Hanaori” was for loyal family or bureaucrats. Cool textile was used for summer clothes. Beautiful Okinawa fabrics are popular souvenir and gifts. Workshops are popular as well.
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Okinawan lacquerware “Ryukyu lacquerware”
Okinawan lacquerware “Ryukyu lacquerware” is not known by many people, even for Japanese. Ryukyu lacquerware is also designated as traditional crafts of Japan. Okinawan lacquerware has vivid contrast of red urushi and black urushi. Ryukyu lacquerware is characterized by various skills for decorating lacquerware. Among them, three-dimensional decoration “Tsuikin” is unique skill of Ryukyu lacquerware. It provides elegant atmosphere.
Okinawan gold work
Okinawan gold work “Kugani Ze-ku” is traditional Okinawan accessory which was blossomed in the era of Ryukyu kingdom. Representative work is “Fusa ring” which is sent in wedding ceremony. Fusa ring has various decorations chained with a ring. Silver decoration of fruit, flower, fan or butterfly are filled with wish of daughter’s everlasting happiness.
When a singer Namie Amuro won Okinawa Honor Award, she received “Fusa ring” and “Jee Hua (ornamental hairpin)” of Okinawan gold work.
Feel gorgeous history from Okinawan crafts
As for Okinawan crafts, “Ryukyu Bingata” or “Ryukyu Glass” are popular.
However, there are more unique crafts in Okinawa.
Ceramics, textile, lacquerware and gold work.
We can see many crafts that remind us gorgeous culture of Ryukyu kingdom or interchange with Southeast Asia or China.
Please feel history of Okinawa from crafts of Okinawa.
These are our recommended things to see and what to buy in Okinawa.
Buy them as souvenirs or make it by yourself.
Attractive points of Okinawan crafts should be felt with your hand directly.