Okinawa Tourism Information:BingataDyerNorikoTanaka/the2ndvolume

Bingata Dyer Noriko Tanaka / the 2nd volume

post : 2016.10.04 19:00

I explained a story about how Noriko gets ideas for her works. The 2nd volume starts from a story about sunshine and shade of Okinawa.

You told me that you get ideas from something that you were touched. What is important to you to express something? 

“I like sunshine and shade of Okinawa very much. The strong sunshine only in the tropical island is very energetic and sunlit flowers and leaves have strong colors.”

The strong sunshine reflects brightly and colorfully… I never thought about it.

“Also the sunshine helps to show the silhouette of shade.” 

The sunshine might help to show the shade clearly.

“I never felt how beautiful shade was until I came to Okinawa. I think it is the effects of the sunshine, and it never shows up like this in Mainland Japan.”

I never thought about “the beauty of shade” until now. Did you get any ideas from it?

“Absolutely. I am thinking about expressing bright and shiny shade of color in the tropical island. I also want to figure the clear shade, so I am trying to draw sharp and strong line.”

Both sunshine and shade in Okinawa are strong. You do like strong things, don’t you?

“I think so lol I do like dyeing shell ginger and lotus, and I design them for bingata very often. It is maybe because I love their strength.”

A framed picture of shell ginger 

“Leaves of shell ginger grow straight at a sharp angle, and the flowers are like the shape of paper lantern. They look beautiful but not ephemerality. The leaves grow thick, stout, and strong.”

Surely flowers look cute but also they grow confidently. 

A framed picture of lotus

“Stems of lotus grow straight but the flowers are big. Leaves are also big and have a presence.”

And they are also strong!

“Exactly lol”

By the way, your works which are in the motif of animal are also wonderful. I fell in love with this elephant’s purse when I saw it at “tituti.” My 3-year-old son at that time also said he wants it right away lol.

“I made this purse when a customer asked me to make a present for the customer’s niece. The customer requested me for a purse of elephant since the customer’s niece loved elephant lol. So I referred to elephants at Okinawa Zoo and Museum.”

The elephant’s sleepy eyes look lovely, and I like that when it grabs another elephant’s tail with its trunk. 

“I got the idea from a book I read when I was in elementary school. They grabbed each other’s tails with their trunks when they move together in the story. I got the image of the scene when I read it and worked on it.”

That sounds good. This elephant gives me a smile just looking at it. 

“I’m so happy to hear that because I want everybody to be happy by keeping my works.”

Māsu bukuro (a bag of salt: a good-luck charm)

So, you and your husband work together as “Bingata-kobo Somemushi,” correct?

“Yes. Basically I work on designing and dyeing, and my husband makes purses and māsu bukuro with my dyed cloths. He currently started making glass beads that go with māsu bukuro.”

Both of you are truly working as a team, ha?

“Yes, my husband is cleaver with his hands, and he is helping me a lot lol”

I raise expectations for their works. I am excited to open the door of “tituti” again!

Noriko expresses sunshine and shade of Okinawa. I was not conscious about natural color in strong sunshine and clear shade until this time, but I started to pay attention to them after I heard her story.

I feel like Noriko taught me the lesson that the beauty of Okinawa is hidden in daily life here and there.

Here is “the 1st volume” about how she gets idea on her works.


◆ Noriko Tanaka (Bingata-kobo Somemushi) 


○ The list of stores where everybody can purchase her bingata products 


Ryukyu Mingei Center

Museum Shop Kyuyo / Gift Shop Bingata

Nishimui Bijutsu 

Okinawa CLIP photo writer Akiko Ono