Okinawa Tourism Information:Let’sMakeHand-FormedShisaatanAtelieratOff-StreetinTsuboya!

Let’s Make Hand-Formed Shisa at an Atelier at Off-Street in Tsuboya!

post : 2015.11.29 20:00

Tsuboya Yachimun Street in Naha City is a popular spot where pottery shops of Okinawa gather. Not only purchasing pottery, but also can try hands-on experience on making pottery. 

There are 2 studios where you can experience making pottery in this area, and one of them is “Ikutouen.” It has 300 years of history, and beautiful color and patterns of potteries are lined up here.

The pottery workshop takes place at the studio in an off-street where you can enter from a main street.

Following the direction that the staff told us, entered off-street and went up a gentle slope and kept going a narrow road … There was the studio with a red tile roof!

The way to the studio has a unique flavor and fun! It is uniquely Tsuboya.

This is the studio where anybody can try hands-on experience. Good looking shisa welcome you.

Participants can make hand-formed shisa including a standing shisa, shisa plate, shisa mask, or a plate. Participants also can draw and color the pattern on an unglazed plate.

A well-ventilated space where everybody can look at greenery. Even this is the first time to try hand-forming, the staff will be by your side to teach.

This time, I will try making a standing shisa. The workshop starts when I got 4 balls that are made of red soil in Okinawa.

Hand-formed shisa can be made easily just like playing with clay.

Tear it, make it round, roll it on a palm, and form a shape. Children can enjoy doing it happily, and adults can feel like being children again while playing with it.

Build a base, put torso and legs. Red soil can get dry easily, so make sure to wet your hands with a mist when you form shisa.

This is the important part, to form a mouth. Male shisa opens his mouth, and female shisa closes her mouth.

Put nose and eyes on.

It is the most fun time to form a face!

Put eyebrows, ears, and mustache on its face, and then draw the pattern with a bamboo skewer. The process completes when I finish drawing pupils. What a cute shisa I made.

The staff at the studio will work on the burning process. It takes about 1 month to be finished, and you can receive it either at the studio or by shipping.

You can also experience making a pottery in another space. The staff will teach you how to make it kindly, so beginners are able to make a cup or bowl.

Facial expression of hand-formed shisa differs depend on the people who make it. Even the same person make the shisa twice, it would not be the same shisa as the first one.

Winsome face, gallant face, and affectionate face. The face will be changed depend on the size, shape, and position of each part of face, so it is interesting to look at.

The time and atmosphere that you shared with someone, and the handmade stuff with the flavor of travel destination. How about experiencing making a pottery in Okinawa and make your travel more interesting?

Address: 1-22-33 Tsuboya, Naha City
Tel: 098-866-1635 (Direct phone number 098-863-8611)
Business Hours: 10:00-17:30 (Workshop starts at 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 14:00, 15:00, and 16:00. Reservation recommended)
Closed: January 1st
Fee: 3,000 yen for making hand-formed shisa, pottery, or others / 2,500 yen for drawing on a plate

Okinawa CLIP photo writer Akiko Ono