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The Omnipresent Beauty, the Beauty in Our Daily Lives. The Craft Brand, “tituti OKINAWAN CRAFT” (Naha City) Digs Deep into the Beauty Found in Okinawa
post : 2018.10.01 00:00
The large logo on the window of the shop really stands out at “tituti OKINAWAN CRAFT”. As you can see from the reflection, the shop is located by the Yui Rail (Monorail) tracks, along the Kumoji River.
Before relocating to the present location in November of 205, the shop used to be on Paradise Dori just off of the lively Kokusai Street. The old shop was in a two-story building with red-tile roofing which was a restored residence dating back from over 50 years ago. The new shop is a in a square, concrete structure from a newer yet nostalgic time of decades ago, and “tituti” welcomes its visitors in a setting that is a little different than before, but still in the distinctively Okinawan style.
Their name, “tituti” comes from the Okinawan words hand (ti) and (tu) hand (ti). The meaning behind it came from the hopes of connecting the hands that create and the hands that use the crafts sold here. There are four craft artists that reside at tituti; Ms. Yumiko Kinjo (potter), Ms. Noriko Tanaka (Bingata dyes), Ms. Tomoko Nagaike (textiles), and Ms. Yuriko Nishiishigaki (woodwork). Each of these artists work independently and also together at tituti.
The four artists started the business nearly ten years ago, and they explained, “We exchange our feelings and inspirations in our work and hope to create more work that’s fun, interesting, and unconventional.”
Their cups and dishes, for example, have a warm and soft expression in appearance and in the comfort in using them. The dishes are light and easy to carry, and the handles on the mugs are just the right fit in holding. It’s the wish of every craft artists to create things that people prefer to use, and love to use, but in seeing their work, I thought, behind the basic fun, cute, and interesting craft are the great and solid skills of these artists.
Many of us simply “fall in love at first sight” with various items and purchase them, only to forget about them or find them sort of hard to use, and they eventually collect dust in our cupboards. The works from tituti are, however, different. They are unique and yet are very useful and become great additions to our daily lives.
The details and usefulness are well-balanced in the Okinawan crafts from tituti. The artists travel on study tours to see and learn about various crafts, to places like Finland, a country famous for their craftwork. They also hold regular exhibits at a gallery in Kyoto. They go to different areas and spend time together to gather inspiration for their next new projects.
This clutch bag is of Shuri Roton, a special textile that originated in the old royal capital of Shuri. This simple but untiring beauty of design goes beyond the category of western and Japanese design.
Every time I visit the shop, I’m always impressed at how the artists here really know about beautiful things that we see and use in our daily lives. The textiles, for example, utilize the simple checkered or striped patterns that we commonly see, but the colors, the materials, and the patterns all come together to create a beauty that was obviously well thought out. In seeing these works, I felt that the charm of omnipresent beauty brings a solid and comforting feel for the user.
If I were to classify the works, I might say they were “daily modern”. For those who want to nonchalantly add a touch of Okinawan taste in their daily wares, tituti is the brand and shop I highly recommend. You may like items of Asian tastes as well as European styles. You might like folk crafts but also like cool, industrial designs. The pieces at tituti have a distinctive air that blend surprising well with all preferences and are great for those who have a wide range in their tastes.
At tituti, the shopkeepers are there to welcome the customers and to truly connect the hands of the maker and user. Once a month, they hold their Yuntaku (chitchat) meetings with the artists to better understand the emotions behind the work, so the shop staff are ready and willing to share those thoughts with the customers who visit here.
Of course, the artists themselves take turns at the shop so if you’re lucky, you can get to know the artists behind the creations through their episodes and stories.
The kind thoughts instilled into the crafts, the rich expressions of beauty, the warmth that ties the creative hands with the users: That is what tituti is all about.
tituti OKINAWAN CRAFT
Address: 2-23-6 Makishi, Naha
Business Hours: 9:30-17:30
Okinawa CLIP photowriter Naoko Tsuruta