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One of a Kind Accessories by [R’s story (Ishigaki Island)]. A Special Piece that You’ll Want to Always Wear for Good Luck
post : 2020.10.05 06:00
The ocean has the power to soothe us and to give us great energy. Perhaps some of you who have visited Ishigaki Island, an outer island of Okinawa, and have seen the spectacular seas that surround the island. It’s truly a breathtaking sight.
Near the Southern Gate Bridge, a popular sunset viewing spot on Ishigaki Island, you’ll find R’s story, an accessory shop. Gento Nakamura, the owner of the shop fell in love with Ishigaki Island’s ocean and moved here in 1994. After finishing courses at a diving school, he became an instructor and was actively involved in the diving scene. It was around that time that he was involved in an accident and was left with severe injuries. “It felt like I was pushed to the bottom of hopelessness,” he says, having lost his childhood dream of being a diving instructor.
During the long road to recovery, he began to develop an interest in accessory making. His father, who is an archaeologist, once told him, “The oldest accessory found in Japan was made with shell beads. And it was discovered in Okinawa.” This information piqued Nakamura-san’s interest.
From then on, Nakamura-san started researching about the shells that were used in the charms made in the Yaeyama region since before the period of the Ryukyu Kingdom. He opened his shop with the determination to “deliver the true meaning behind the accessories that the people wore in ancient times.” He named his shop, R’s story, with the “R” representing Ryukyu, Roots, Renaissance, Romance, and Reality.
Nakamura-san’s accessories are original pieces made with natural materials that represent Ishigaki Island. He mainly uses pearl shells that the locals have cherished for a long time as charms, believing that they “have powers to protect those who wear them.” Shells with spiral patterns and pointed shapes were said to “cast away bad spirits” and the most popular of this type of shell is the great green turban shell. Nakamura-san says he wants to cherish the meanings behind these shells that the people have passed down the generations and hopes to create “accessories not just for fashion but also as good luck charms that people would want to wear.”
The pieces are created by shaping and then polishing, and each one is one of a kind. The colors and patterns are all slightly different, so there’s no two alike. Many of the accessories are suitable for all seasons and the customers say, “They’re easy to coordinate with whatever style, from casual to dressy.”
The great green turban shells from Yaeyama are pretty rare, and so they have a high scarcity value. If you’re thinking, “I can’t go to Ishigaki Island just yet, but I want to check out the accessories by R’s story,” then definitely visit their online shop.
Get closer to Ishigaki Island by getting to know the ancient treasures of Yaeyama that its people have cherished for centuries, and have been passed down the generations.
Address: 1F West, Southern World 1-7-5 Yashima-cho, Ishigaki City, Okinawa
Hours: 9:30 – 19:30
Online Shop: https://www.creema.jp/c/rs-story/item/onsale
Photos Courtesy of R:s story
Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Sachiko Tachi