Okinawa Tourism Information:ANaturalBeautythat’sOneofaKind.CoralDyedChou-Chou(HairScrunchie)MakePerfectGifts[Ryusen,NahaCity]

A Natural Beauty that’s One of a Kind. Coral Dyed Chou-Chou (Hair Scrunchie) Make Perfect Gifts [Ryusen, Naha City]

post : 2019.03.25 07:00

Almost everybody who arrives on Okinawa want to visit the seas where the beautiful coral reefs extend on the ocean floor. The white sandy beaches develop through years of having the waves wash in, and the spectacular blue gradations of the seas of Okinawa are breathtaking. Just being by the sea makes many of us feel happy. When we talk about Okinawa, we think ocean, and when we think ocean, we think of coral. The relationship between Okinawa and coral is inseparable. Did you know that there is a special dyeing technique using coral? That’s right, the photo below shows the coral dye which is made with corallite.

Coral dyeing techniques were started by Ryusen, a dye specialty establishment that’s located about 500 meters from Shurijo Castle. A large corallite with designs that are very unique can be found on the inner surface. The patterns are beautiful and it may be hard to believe they’re formed naturally. By splitting the corallite, the patterns are exposed, and cloth is laid on the surface before the colors are placed. The combination of colors and patterns create a dye that is definitely one of a kind.

The dyed cloths created one by one at the hands of a skilled and experienced craftsman is like that of a painting. The patterns are dyed by placing the cloth on different coral to bring out the different shapes and patterns. With variations of blue, green, red, and purple, the delicate use of color are awe-inspiring and mystical.

The dyed textiles are made into kimonos, tapestries, Noren curtains, table centers, scarves, and others.

In this article, I want to introduce the chou-chou hair scrunchie that was developed so that you can easily wear coral dye whenever you want. There are about six color variations to choose from, like the cheerful pink and orange, and the chic and cool blues and blacks.

Many of us use chou-chou on a daily basis, and these coral dyed chou-chou are made with fabric that dries quickly if it gets wet, so they’re convenient for after you go swimming or snorkeling in the ocean. Many of the dyes in Okinawa are very colorful and go with the brilliant rays of the sun, but the chou-chou are designed as accessories to wear, so the colors are carefully selected to match natural skin tones, and using fewer colors. The price of the chou-chou is 2,160 yen, including tax. They make perfect gifts for friends and family, and of course, for yourself, too.

Ryusen is a long-established dye specialist with deep roots to Okinawa’s culture, and even before the coral dyes, they have been very active in the field of Bingata dyes. They are known for their expertise in using traditional, natural ingredients for their dyes, like plants, old trees, insects and various others, and for their creation of a color chart that catalogs over 3,000 color variations. Nowadays, in accordance with the intended use, they also have items made with acrylic resin and the mix of colors are not the commonly used colors, so to speak, but more sophisticated.

Their original patterns developed from traditional designs are bright and cheerful, with a classy touch.

On the first floor, they have a selection of over 50 items available for purchase, including bags, pouches, scarves, tissue holders and others. On the second floor, you can try your hand a coral dyeing and Bingata dyeing, so why don’t you drop by?


Kobo Shuri Ryusen
Address: 1-54 Yamakawa-cho, Shuri, Naha City, Okianawa
Telephone: 098-886-1131
Hours: 9:00 to 18:00
Open Daily

Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Nobuya Fukuda


沖縄県那覇市首里山川町 1-54