Okinawa Tourism Information:Talked-aboutselectshopfor“WearingSouvenir”

Talked-about select shop for “Wearing Souvenir”

post : 2015.07.15 19:00

“weather permitting”…if I translate it literally, it means “If the weather is fine.”  But if I loosely translate it in my own style, “What comes around goes around.”  If I dumb it down, it would be “Things don’t go as you wish, so just take it easy with the “Nankuru Naisa”* spirit!

*“Nankuru Naisa” is an often-used Okinawan phrase meaning “If you do what is right, things will work out for you.”

Attracted by the name which is very Okinawa (or Miyako), I entered this shop that used to sell imported sundry goods mainly.  However, since Ms. Sachiko Ooeda became the owner of the shop, it made a renewal opening as a select shop dealing in mainly fashionable items including apparel and accessories. 

Ooeda-san, who has an attractive adult smile, came to Miyako Island for the first time to obtain a license of scuba diving instructor. 

“I was going to return to my hometown, but I have been living here for as many as 15 years before I knew it.  No wonder my smile became an adult one.”

She told me so with a carefree smile and a carrying voice as she intrinsically loves sport and used to be an instructor at the training gym

Her most favorite item is YOKANG, a well-known fashion brand in Okinawa.  “Ryuso (Ryukyuan costume)” sounds like a special world in a sense, but the brand company adopted the design of “Ryuso” into “ordinary world” in a sense that everybody can wear it casually in their usual life.  Their achievement of making bingata freely-introduced has been highly evaluated in and outside of Okinawa.  After the brand company made the traditional art limited to certain people available for more people, it made forays overseas.

“The clothes here are fun to wear.  You can be fascinated by it while you can fascinate others by wearing it.  When you wear it, you can feel self-confident.”

When I asked her the charm of YOKANG, she gave me an intuitive, plain answer.  “Clothes have a role like an armor.”  As she showed her cute aspect, which you wouldn’t know from her dignified appearance, her persuading words cleared my mind.

Another recommended item is “Nakamura Yousou (western-style clothes).”  You don’t feel any characteristics of Okinawa from the appearance, but the process of making it is really Okinawa.  Mr. & Mrs. Nakamura carry out all the process from designing, procuring materials, making patterns, sewing, to finishing.  Their greatest charm is their custom-made technique according to the requirements of the customer.  The secret to their popularity is that the couple show great sensitivity to the hard-to-explain taste of customers through yuntaku (chatting) and finish up clothes with the touch and taste being up to customers’ expectations.  Of course, a variety of ready-made clothes are available.  Like “blouse which farmer’s wife wore in the 18th century” or “blouse (a shop coat with a belt) which bakers in Paris wore in the 19th century,” the couple recreate such clothes as has a story to tell, from the past into the modern time.     

Ooeda-san has been selling clothes carefully made by Okinawan people as well as accessories made using motifs of nature in Okinawa as “wearing souvenirs.”  Lastly I asked her if something had changed since she had started living in Miyako Island.   

“Maybe I become calm.  I drive more slowly and often breathe deeply than before!”

Good-luck charm of maasu (salt) familiar in Okinawa 

Miyako Island has an atmosphere of more slowly and relaxed even than that of mainland Okinawa.  The local people here drive even on a straight road at a speed of less than 40km per hour.  This is why people living here breathe more deeply than before in response to a calm vibration coming out from the sea and the sky. 

A cat which avoided rain storm under the shade in front of the shop on the following day after the typhoon is a fine drawing card of the shop now.  The way he sits in a leisurely fashion seems to show “Nankuru Naisa” spirit.    

Ooeda-san, who has assimilated into the community of the island for 15 years, is now trying to return the favor.  “This kind of thing should be done without being noticed,” she did not tell me the detail.  Because of her effort, she has many acquaintances throughout Miyako Island and is very familiar to many places. 

When you make a trip to Miyako Island, why don’t you visit “WEATHER PERMITTING”?  You might encounter something wonderful.


Address: 598-2 Shimozato, Hirara, Miyako-jima City, Okinawa
TEL: 0980-72-0468
Opening Hours: 11:00 to 20:00
Irregularly Closed

Okinawa CLIP Photo Writer  Nobuya Fukuda