- Savor the tastes of Pork Motsu Kushiyaki (grilled offal on a skewer), recommended by the owner of Aracoya in Sakaemachi, a neighborhood filled with colors of the Showa era.
- Simple yet exquisite. Okinawa Soba with a wonderful, clear taste at Tamaya, Maeda (Urasoe)
A shop packed with Okinawa’s popular crafts sparkling with originality!
post : 2022.03.31 20:00
Situated in the southern region of Okinawa Island, just minutes away from the spectacular ocean in Yonabaru Town, is a “select shop” featuring ceramics, textiles, metalworks, and other creations made at the hands of popular local artists.
The shop’s name is Yuna.
The name is taken from Yunabaru, the Okinawan name for Yonabaru.
Yuna invites customers to see and appreciate various products made in Okinawa.
When you approach the shop’s door, take a look at the handles.
They’re made in the shape of the letter Y for Yuna!
Even before you enter the shop, you can feel the fun-loving atmosphere.
I excitedly opened the door with a feeling that I was about to encounter some very special items…
The shop is packed with various crafts!
With so many interesting items, my eyes were busily trying to see them all.
Among them, I spotted the Japanese alphabet stamps made by a duo of artists, Kanimega.
These stamps are only sold at Yuna, and if you take a close look at each of the stamps, you’ll see illustrations that are relevant to Okinawa.
Like for the letter Shi, there’s a drawing of a Shisa.
For Ra, is Rakkyo or Okinawan shallots, Mi has a picture of Ai Miyazato, the professional female golfer from Okinawa, and Yo has an illustration of Gushiken Yoko, the former WBA light-flyweight champion who hails from Ishigaki Island.
You can pick up the whole set or just the letters you want.
The Hanafuda, or Japanese flower cards shown above are also created by Kanimega.
These too, have drawings related to Okinawa and are sold as Ryukyu Hanafuda.
For example, for the cards with cranes in the original Hanafuda, the Ryukyu Hanafuda has the Yanbaru Kuina (Okinawan rail), the boar cards have the Okinawan Agu pigs, the deer cards have goats, and the peony cards have drawings of hibiscus flowers!
All the other cards have fun Okinawan twists, so take a look and enjoy.
Shown above are T-shirts and Tenugui hand cloths/towels with pop designs, created by Doucatty.
Doucatty is known for its distinguished designs and production of its items from drawing to dyeing all by hand.
The Okinawa Soba drawing is definitely eye-catching.
The Ryukyuan papier-mache and Karuta game cards with simplistic and down-to-earth drawings are created by Gangu Roadworks.
These items bring a smile to your face and are popular among customers.
The colorful Masu-Bukuro pouches are created by Hataori Kobo Shiyon, a textiles company that dyes and weaves its products by hand.
In the Okinawan language, Masu means salt.
Since ancient times, the Okinawan people believed that salt kept bad omens away, and locals carry Masu-Bukuro, or small sachets containing salt as good-luck charms.
If you’re looking for lovely cups to enjoy your drinks, how about a few cool-looking glasses made by the glassblowing studio, Ruri?
They also offer dishes and pitchers, too.
These cups and dishes by Petit Papillon aren’t just charming but they’re also microwave-safe and practical.
The googly-eyed bear brooch, coasters, and kinetic sculptures are also some of the items you wouldn’t want to miss.
These uniquely charming sculptures are some of the most popular items created by Kobo Katsukiya.
Above is a battle of disguise between two ninjas, one as a dragon and the other as a frog.
Talk about impressive!
The wooden butter knives and ladles by the woodwork studio Fukugi are popular for their practicality.
The shop has a wide selection of various leather products like wallets and purses made by @RH LEATHER BASE.
There are accessories by Ci. Cafu and MIREI, notebooks by Naka Hajime, and so many more fun and exciting items!
About 80% of the items available at Yuna are created by artists based in Okinawa.
As you take a look around the bright store where natural light pours in from the large windows, the friendly staff will offer explanations of any item you might be interested in.
Actually, the shop’s concept is to be like a helpful, chatty, friendly busybody, like an Okinawan Oba or grandma.
The desire to deliver the intentions and ideas behind the crafts created by the artists.
The hopes of relaying the tender loving care that went into the creation of the items to the people who purchase them.
That’s the inspiration behind their efforts to go the extra mile to explain in detail each of the items in the shop.
At the same time, they also want to send a message of using good quality items for a long period in this world overflowing with single-use items.
Yuna offers items that are fun and delightful to have around and to want to use something for a long time.
Something that’ll make you a little excited when you hold it in your hand and take a close look.
And something that becomes better with time and age.
These are the characteristics of the crafts found at Yuna.
Choosing gifts or something for yourself as you engage in friendly conversation with the shop’s staff heightens the fun of your trip.
Stop by Yuna’s and find a very special item to take home from Okinawa.
Address: 548 Yonabaru, Yonabaru Town, Okinawa
Hours: 11:00 to 18:30
Closed: Tuesdays & Wednesdays
Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Akiko Ono