What is Ryukyu Glass? Glasswork of Okinawa with Flickering Light

Ryukyu glass reflecting flickering light

Ryukyu Glass, Beautiful Glasswork in Okinawa

Colorful Ryukyu glass looks like portraying vivid nature of Okinawa.
Thick, cute, and warm atmosphere. Here, we introduce its attractiveness and history.

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What is Ryukyu glass?

Ryukyu glass is new crafts in Okinawa.
It was started from recycled glass which was wasted by stationed U.S. troops under the lack of resources after WWII.

Appealing points of Okinawa glass

Okinawa glass, or Ryukyu glass is characterized by its chubby thickness. Bottled bubbles like soda has refreshing atmosphere. Colorful glassware seems to reflect the nature of Okinawa.

Ryukyu glass was produced for the taste of American people so that they can use it as daily tableware or bring it as souvenir. Now, unique taste of Okinawa and aesthetic sense of glass craftsmen are mixed and Ryukyu glass become more modern for our lifestyle.

Uneven form glass lets gentle light come through. Please use Okinawa glass for your precious time when you drink awamori by window.

How is Ryukyu glass produced?

Ryukyu glass is handblown by craftsmen. A group of 4~5 glass craftsmen make glassware with close teamwork. Melt glass which is mixture of raw materials in high temperature of 1300℃ (about 2372℉). Roll melting glass around a pole and make forms. Ryukyu glass is formed by glassblowing or mold blowing. After forming, cut off glass from the pole, make rim even, and cool down glass all night. Inspect the quality after cooling, and complete a Okinawa glass.

Basic colors of Ryukyu glass are these 6, Orange, Brown, Green, Light blue, Blue, Purple. With mixing metallic oxide, more colors can be made such as pink, yellow, black, or color gradients.

History of Ryukyu glass

Ryukyu glass was started as recycled glass.
Originally, glassworks of other countries were brought to Okinawa by trading with some countries. It is believed that glass producing was already started in late 1800s or early 1900s. leading products were lamp or bin for pickles. However, glass studios were burnt down by WWⅡ. Around 1947, glass producing was restarted by recycled glass.

Okinawa glass got great popularities from troops of U.S. as daily tableware or souvenir. Then, Japanese tourists from main land loved Ryukyu glass as souvenir as well.
With increasing demand for glassware, number of glass studios increased around Okinawa. Quality of material and skill of producing were improved, too. Now, most glass studios make glassware from raw material of glass, not recycled glass.

In 1998, Ryukyu glass was designated as traditional craft of Okinawa. Each studio or glass craftsman produce unique glass works with individualities. Now, Okinawa glass which was souvenir become a unique craft in Okinawa.

What types of glassware does “Ryukyu glass” have?

Ryukyu glass has been popular as souvenir or handmade workshop. Ryukyu glass has warmth of handmade crafts, so many people choose Okinawa glass as gifts.
Ryukyu glass varies from tableware such as rocks glasses, plates, home decor such as wind chime, to accessories.
Please find your favorite Ryukyu glassware.

Natural presence is comfortable

Uneven form and rising air bubbles.
With handmade Ryukyu glassware, dinner table gets gentle atmosphere. For happy family circle, or slow sake time, Okinawa glass suits any scenes in our life. Its natural presence is comfortable. Glass home decor of Ryukyu glass can be an accent in your room with its tropical colors.
We wish you have a wonderful time with beautiful Ryukyu glass.