- Ryukyumen Matsuya – a hole in the wall noodle restaurant These noodles sell out very quickly!
- Lunar New Year’s celebration in Itoman City
Okinawan artists have opened a unique craft shop in Okinawa City, ATORON SHOP
post : 2016.11.16 08:00
The shop opened in March of 2016. The concept of their creations revolves around “the humor in your life.” There hope is that tourists will visit Okinawa just to obtain their crafts.
A local artist group, ATORON Creative Entertainment has been in the art business including advertising, posters design, CD covers and T-shirts since 1997. They started their unique business in Koza area, Okinawa City, and have always put to humor and creativity into their work.
Tsukasa Tomoyose and Keiko Ebino head the business. Both have been in the art world since childhood. “The Koza area was very attractive artistically because of things like building shapes, sign colors or paintings decorating the whole town when I was a kid.” said Tomoyose.
Since Koza was a town with mostly military people from Kadena Air Base, many American influences were visible in the town back then. There were lots of musicians on the street.
Their items have of both Okinawan and non-Okinawan elements and they always collaborate with local artists.
“Yanakaagii-mayaa-gamaguchi.” In the Okinawan dialect, “anakaagii-mayaa” means “nothing at all,” while “gamaguchi” is a coin case. This item was named for the Okinawan saying “ten-kara-akamayaa” which means a red cat from the sky. Different expressions are seen on each akamayaa (red cat) coin case. Very cute, isn’t it? They use their original fabric for this.
“Run-run pen case.” Run-run” speaks to cheerfulness in Japanese. This unique folding pen case was created with a wish for a cheerful mind for everybody. Eight styles, including Okinawan flower patterns are available. A dress and craft artist, Yu-duri contributed to the creation of both the pen case and coin case.
A music creator, KENG-SHING collaborated with the artists about this trunk case. KENG-SHING showed his art installation at the Ichihanari Art Festival.
These trunk cases have wood frames. They can be used as convenient to carry treasure boxes.
“Uu-too-to” means “to pray” in the Okinawan dialect. This tote bag comes in three different sizes and eight patterns. They also have items manufactured by ESKESEN of Denmark. You will find your favorite things here.
ATORON started out as a T-shirt artist. When they started, only typical tourist designs were available to in Okinawa. The company wanted more appreciation from local customers as well so they started to make cool, funny and attractive designs for local people as well as tourists.
Their designs are inspired from every day objects in town, on base or unique items they see here and there. They make some of their designs so that they are recognizable to original shapes, like flowers, but mostly you will wonder where the design came from. Use your imagination and you will enjoy these creations even more!
The shop is also used as the art studio. You might want to look for his inspiration in your surroundings. Breakers from old buildings, lights and tubes like space ships and so on…
Koza is an area with lots of history and culture. Enjoy part of your Okinawan experience here. ATORON SHOP will inspire your imagination and creativity during your excursion.
Address: 1-18-6-1F Chuo, Okinawa City
Closed: Saturday and Sunday
Okinawa CLIP photo writer: Noriya Fukuda