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A Moment to Witness the Historical Technique at “Kumejima Tsumugi no Sato Yuimaru-kan”
post : 2015.11.12 19:00
Various traditional arts are inherited in each region of Okinawa. Especially “Kumejima Tsumugi” is believed as “the origin of Tsumugi (pongee)” in Japan, and this special Tsumugi is designated as an important intangible cultural heritage.
The characteristic of Kumejima Tsumugi is its dark colors of natural vegetation and mud dyeing, and also historical kasuri (fabric) pattern. “Kumejima Tsumugi no Sato Yuimaru-kan” is a great spot for tourists to experience and learn about Kumejima Tsumugi freely, and to pick souvenir.
The history and process of making Kumejima Tsumugi is explained in detail at an exhibition room, and special exhibitions also take place here sometimes. It is interesting to take a look at silks, types of dyes, Tsumugi from old days, and old weaving machine.
Tourists can see almost the whole process of making tsumugi and valuable “technique” done by active artisans. Tourists can try hands-on experience on “weaving” and “dyeing,” and beginners are able to make vegetation dyed coaster and silk bandana in about 30 minutes.
Artisans are making efforts to inherit traditional technique. For example, they breed “Ryukyu Tasanken (rare silkworms which inhabit only in Okinawa, and they produce raw silk of Kumejima Tsumugi).” The breeding of Ryukyu Tasanken had stopped once because they are sensitive and it is very difficult to breed them.
At a store, the final destination of Yuimaru-kan, anybody can take a look at about 50 kinds of Kumejima Tsumugi items. Items including stole, Kariyushi wear, bag, wallet, fan, and more. This might be a good place to look for nice souvenir or special thing just for you.
Plants of “shell ginger,” the popular plant as a dye in Okinawa from the old days, are growing beautifully in the backyard.
Actually the traditional arts and culture of the region make your trip valuable, so how about enjoying your trip in Okinawa from a different angle?
Kumejima Tsumugi no Sato Yuimaru-kan
Address: 1878-1 Maja, Kumejima Town
Business Hours: 9:00 – 17:00 (last admission: 16:30)
Closed: January 1st, February 6th (Kumejima Tsumugi Day)
Admission: Adult 200 yen / Jr. high school student & under 100 yen
Okinawa CLIP photo writer Kiwamu Ogawa (Qey Word)