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Ariyoshi, a longtime Yachimun shop located in Tsuboya, Naha City. Featuring traditional Okinawan ceramics that improve with use.
post : 2017.10.23 07:00
An area filled with nostalgia and known for its antique atmosphere, the sightseeing destination of Tsuboya celebrated its 333th anniversary in 2015.
Tsuboya’s Yachimun Street is lined with many pottery shops and studios. The cobblestone road is made with Ryukyu limestone. The relaxing ambiance of the area is unique and seem to fit in the center of Naha City’s hustle and bustle.
Ariyoshi, one of 40-odd shops in the area is a traditional craft shop has been in business for over 25 years. They deal with most of the artists in the area. Tomiko and Michiyo Makabe take turns running the shop.
Since they feature works by more than 40 artists, I will introduce three of my favorites pieces here.
First, is a large bowl by Hideo Sekiya who owns a studio in Yonabaru Town surrounded by beautiful nature that is reflected in his work. On this piece, flowers and plants are randomly and beautifully painted. It is fun to think about what you might serve in this bowl.
Next, are some works by Koji Iki. This craftsman was born in Kyoto and currently works a studio in Yomitan Village. I enjoyed the balance of navy blue designs against the white background. His pieces look and feel as though they were made for daily use.
Last is a karakara (sake bottle) and cup made by Koji of the Tsuboya-Yaki artist family. The arabesque patterns formed through molding and scraping give the pieces a classic exotic Oriental look. In fact, I purchased these pieces during my visit just before before the interview. The karakara can be used for either Okinawan awamori or for Japanese sake.
Mugs, coffee cups and saucers, glasses and other items with Okinawan designs are all available in this shop.
Togurimohikari, is the name of a particular red clay that is used for the small cups. Very few other Yachimun Street stores carry items made with this clay. The cups look perfect for holding clips, buttons, accessories or even thumb drives. The shiisaa, a traditional Okinawan guardian dog spirits are very relaxing.
The round vase for a single flower is by Minoru Nakamura. The patterns depict gettou (shell ginger), kuroton and other local plants, and the mouth is in the shape of the main island of Okinawa. This is a popular item with visitors from overseas
Tomiko, using her fine sensibilities, chooses all items. Why not explore for souvenirs amid a selection of beautiful and useful Yachimun pottery?
Traditional Craft Shop Ariyoshi
Address: 1-8-4 Tsuboya, Naha City, Okinawa
Okinawa CLIP photo writer: Sachiko