Okinawa Tourism Information:AyoungOkinawanbingataartisttakesonthechallengeoftraditionalcrafts:ArakakiYuka

A young Okinawan bingata artist takes on the challenge of traditional crafts: Arakaki Yuka

post : 2013.08.28 16:00

In Okinawa there are many forms of traditional culture.
This time we will introduce "bingata".
"bingata" is a dyeing technique passed down from generation to generation in Okinawa.
In Okinawa, the word for color is "bin", and since stencils (kata) are used for dyeing, this art is called "bingata".
Only people of high standing, such as royalty and the warrior class, were allowed to wear kimonos made through bingata.
The brilliant color combination and the unique designs of Okinawa are beatuiful and charming.
We met a young female artist who has taken up the traditional craft art of "bingata". 

Besides the traditional designs and techniques, her modern works seem to combine a unique female perspective of the world.

Arakaki Yuka, a native of Okinawa Prefecture.

Arakaki has liked to draw since she was a child.
Influenced by her older sister, who was studying bingata, she entered the dyeing design course of Okinawa Prefectural Shuri High School in order to study design and bingata herself.
There she encountered bingata for the first time, and she learned the pleasure of creating things and the delight of expressing herself.

After graduating from high school, she wanted to learn more professionally about bingata, so she joined the Shuri Ryusen and the Tama-Naha Bingata workshops.
While learning the various essences of traditional bingata, she came to think about merging bingata with other traditional techniques and try a new form of expression.

Moreover, she entered the Traditional Arts Support Center sponsored by the Prefecture of Okinawa. She learned again from the basics and upon graduation she became independent.

Now, while creating obis and kimonos, she also makes panels and accessories. She is constantly widening the range of her works.
In 2011 and 2012 she brilliantly won first prize for two consecutive years at the Ryugin Bingata Design Contest, which she has entered every year since she was 20.

"The importance of carrying on is one of the treasures I have learned through bingata."
said Arakaki, and then we asked her about her future prospects.

"Even if I get married and have children someday, I want to continue to express what I feel and learn in my experiences and continue to create new bingata works."
A fusion of the distinctive sensibility of modern women and tradition. Her works are now attracting much attention in Okinawa.

For question, please go to this page →

Bingata artist
Arakaki Yuka
Art gallery:

2007, 16th Ryugin Bingata Design Contest, encouragement award
2009, 18th Ryugin Bingata Design Contest, encouragement award
2010, accepted for 62nd Okiten
2011, 20th Ryugin Bingata Design Contest, first prize  
2012, accepted for 64th Okiten
     34th Nihon Shinkogei Exhibition, The Ueno Royal Museum, encouragement award
   21th Ryugin Bingata Design Contest,  first prize


Okinawa City