Bingata and the Okinawa Rail

The Yanbaru Kuina, or the Okinawa Rail (Gallirallus okinawae),  is a beautiful bird endemic to Okinawa Island.  It is an unusual bird in that it is almost flightless. Since the Yanbaru Kuina is an endangered species, i have worked to incorporate it into my bingata artwork as a reminder for us to cherish our natural […]

Ryukyu Bingata Kimono

Traditional Ryukyu kimonos are constructed of handwoven fabric with bingata natural dye designs.  The underlying fabric is also handwoven, however the weave structure differs and consists of the Kasuri Ikat style. A Hanagasa (lotus flower hat) is typically worn with the traditional bingata kimono as seen on these Ryukyu dancers… As you can see, the […]

Kokusai Dori Views…

I like to walk and wander around Naha.  Sometimes, i take a rest and enjoy the views along Kokusai Dori (International Street).

Sugar Cane Dye

When my Okasan (mother) was a little girl, she remembers the local villagers processing newly cut sugarcane.  She was often given a piece of cane as a treat on the way home from school by those working the cane in Izumi Village. Now, many Okinawans use sugarcane for dyeing.  As in most Ryukyuan dye methods, […]

Contemporary Handweavers of Houston – April 21

“Ryukyu Weaving:  Fabrics that Guard the Spirit” Date:  April 21, 2011 Time:  7:00 pm Where:  Contemporary Handweavers of Houston (CHH) Location:  Bayou Manor, 4141 South Braeswood, Houston, TX USA Note that my presentation fee will be donated to the Japan Red Cross to help the tsunami victims in dire need of our support.

A Butterfly in the Wind…

My Oba (Aunt) is a dancer…i think she dances like a butterfly in the wind…

I Practice an Ancient Art…

I practice the ancient art of  Bingata… Bingata is a Ryukyuan dyeing process that was developed during the 14-15th centuries.  Natural pigments and vegetable dyestuffs are applied to cotton, silk and bashofu fabrics. A stencil is used with Nori paste (a resist paste) to outline the design to be dyed.  In my work here, i […]

I See the Sea…

Sometimes i see the beautiful sea in the Ryukyu Bingata textiles around me…do you see it too?