Okinawa Tourism Information:“ChibanaHanaori”

“Chibana Hanaori”

post : 2015.01.07 19:00

With yarns dyed with locally grown natural dyestuff, ladies weave for someone special.
A long time ago, such a scene might have been commonly seen in Okinawa.

The weaving that has been passed down since around the 18th Century in Chibana, Okinawa, is called “Chibana Hanaori.”
It is also one of the traditional craft designated by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry.
They say that Chibana Hanaori was not woven for presenting to the Ryukyu Royal Government but for wearing on celebratory and festive occasions, and had spread among commoners. 

“Usudeku” The photo was provided by The Chibana-Hanaori Business Cooperative.

Still now, Chibana Hanaori costumes are worn in a women’s festival praying for the productiveness of grains called “Usudeku” and “Ryukyu Nmaharashii” held in “Okinawa Kodomo no Kuni.”

Chibana Hanaori, which is said to have been woven originally by women for their families, has been cherished from father to son as a family treasure. 

In Okinawa, there are many Hanaori (Fabric with raised designs of flower or geometrical patterns), and Chibana Hanaori is one of them.  Each of them has different technique.

For Chibana Hanaori, people use mainly locally grown plants for dyeing.
They use Ryukyu indigo for hues of blue, fukugi (Common garcinia) for hues of yellow, roots and stems of getto (shell ginger) for hues of pink, and loquat leaves for hues of reddish-brown.

Weaving artists carefully dyed cotton yarns and silk yarns in front of me.
I found myself looking at it in wonder what beautiful colors natural plants produced!

“Tateuki Hanaori”

For weaving techniques, they use “Tateuki Hanaori,”a technique of embossing designs vertically in sequence and “Nuiito Hanaori,” a technique of embossing yarns like embroidery.  
Weaving a cloth requires a lot of patience.  It takes about one week to finish weaving one obi belt.

Chibana Hanaori are often used for kimono and obi; however, the artists present opinions to each other for developing new products but they keep the traditional style.

Colorful business card holders of “Miikaji (an Okinawan word meaning New Wind)” Series, which is designed to be used easily in our daily life, might become popular in business situations. 

Among all the products, I would highly recommend “Biwa (loquat) Dyeing Series.”
Shading of colors are incredibly beautiful, and I cannot help but take a deep breath of admiration at the gentle color of a cloth dyed with loquat barks.

At The Chibana-Hanaori Business Cooperative, you can enjoy not only purchasing sundry goods using Chibana Hanaori but also observing the workshop (Reservation is required.).  Please visit there!

The time spent for getting to know more about the traditional craft will surely be a good memory of trip to Okinawa.

The Chibana-Hanaori Business Cooperative

Address: 5-6-7 Chibana, Okinawa city
TEL: 098-921-1187
Open:9:00 to 17:00
Closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays

Okinawa CLIP Photo Writer  Akari Matsumura