These Old Weaving Tools…

I like these old weaving tools… and sometimes wonder what some of these old tools have seen… Did they belong to a hillside bashofu weaver and spinner? Like the tools that belong to my Izumi family? Have they seen Spring days of Ai Zomme (indigo dyeing) and kasuri splashes? Maybe they’ve even survived the daysContinue reading “These Old Weaving Tools…”

The Weaving of Flowers

Shuri Hana Ori is a float weave structure that originated in Shuri, the capitol of the Ryukyu Kingdom, during the Ryukyu Kingdom period (15 – 19th century).  Shuri is located on Okinawa Island, Japan. Hana means “flower” and “ori” means weaving in Japanese, therefore Shuri Hana Ori (or, Hana Ui in Ryukyuan language) is essentiallyContinue reading “The Weaving of Flowers”

These Bashofu Threads…

I’ve been spinning and winding these bashofu threads, and as I do, my mind spins and wanders too… What shall these bashofu threads be?  A book cover, or tapestry?  Or perhaps a cherished cloth for my family? These bashofu threads, once dyed and handwoven will tell a story.  Like these vintage kimonos, they will documentContinue reading “These Bashofu Threads…”

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 naturalContinue reading “Bingata and the Okinawa Rail”


Awamori is an ancient alcoholic beverage indigenous to Okinawa.  It is distilled from rice.  The awamori distillation process originates from Thailand.  It is different from sake, mainland Japan’s indigenous drink. Sake is brewed, and not distilled.  In addition, Sake is made from short-grain Japonica rice.  Awamori, on the other hand, is made from long-grain indicaContinue reading “Awamori”

Basho Spinning…it’s a challenge for me!

I’m still learning to spin Ito Basho threads on my basho spinning wheel…it’s a challenge for me!  However, the spinners at Sensei Taira’s weaving studio…well, they spin beautifully!

Oh, the Light…

My Okinawan High Loom and Ito Basho spinning wheel Master, Oshiro-san, lives in Haebaru Cho on Okinawa Island.  The light beams thru the windows of his woodworking studio.  This is a special place where a talented man designs and constructs beautiful handweaving and handspinning tools that provide a lifetime of inspiration for the handweaver.  Oh,Continue reading “Oh, the Light…”