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Enjoying Time at Home with Stylish Items. [Yachimun-to Kurashi-no Dogu (pottery and items for living) mano (in Ginowan)]
post : 2020.10.17 07:00
Located atop a hill in Ginowan City at the central region of Okinawa Island, is [mano]; a shop that offers “Yachimun (pottery) and tools for living”.
Inside, you’ll find a whole array of items carefully created at the hands of Okinawan artists. The name of the shop, “mano” is Italian for “hand”, and it was named so because the owner, Tomoko Akinaga, hopes the shop to “be a place where the hands of the creators and buyers can connect”, and that “people will find a special item to hand to someone special in person.”
Akinaga-san has always enjoyed various “Zakka” or goods. It was her dream since her 20s to “someday have my own shop”. In 2016, she realized her dream and opened [mano].
Presently, she offers items created by over 30 artists. From Yachimun pottery, Bingata dye, glassware, wooden crafts, textiles, and foods, she mainly sells goods made by artists who are based in Okinawa. The merchandise here “have beauty that you can feel the love for Okinawa felt by the creators”, says Akinaga-san, and they’re arranged with contemporary touches while cherishing the traditions that’s been passed down the generations.
The brooches by “comomo-no Ki” are not prints, but each one is dyed with the Bingata style. These brooches have motifs that have distinctively Okinawan feel to them, like pineapples, goya (bitter melons), Okinawa Soba noodles, tacos, clownfish, manta rays, hibiscus flowers, Sanshin (Okinawa’s three-stringed instrument), Awamori (Okinawa’s famous sake), Ishigantu (a common sight in Okinawa where Ishigantu plaques are placed along the streets, believed to deflect bad spirits)…and many others. They’re not just popular with tourists, but also among the Okinawans who are known for their strong love for their home islands.
The Shisa lions by Shimajiro Kobo have unique and charming expressions, and they’re made from 100% plaster, making them light and very durable.
The popular bud vases created by Glass Kobo Buntaro are just the right size and very affordable. Akinaga-san says she has customers who say, “They’re just perfect to have in our daily lifestyle,” and many of them buy several at a time to take home.
The jars of foodstuffs are from [Bin food], and the ingredients are all local and grown without the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. They’re not just cute and aesthetically pleasing to the eyes, but these jars of pickles, syrup, jam, and others, are perfect as souvenirs from Okinawa.
The baked goods are by [Charka] and are made without any animal-derived products. They’re simple yet truly tasty, so they have a strong following and many new customers quickly become repeat buyers.
And finally, these calendars that Akinaga-san sells every year are original [mano] creations and are only available at the shop. They’re created through stencil printing, which is like printing each color over on top of each other. They have that warm appeal that you can only find in handmade creations, and that’s exactly what she hopes to deliver.
“I hope to bring in more interior-type items that we don’t currently have,” says Akinaga-san. At [mano] you’ll find quality items that will carefully bring together comfort and joy in your every day living. Whether you’re looking for a unique souvenir from Okinawa, a gift for a special someone, or if you simply love “Zakka” and various and miscellaneous goods, drop by and enjoy what you might find at [mano].
Yachimun-to Kurashi-no Dogu mano
Address: 2-4-10 Oyama Ginowan City, Okinawa
Hours: Friday to Monday & Holidays from 11:00 to 18:30, Tuesday to Thursday from 13:00 to 18:30
Open Every Day (with some irregular closing days)
Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Sachiko Tachi