Dreaming about Basho-fu?

February 26, 2014

In the end of January, I went on a textile tour to Okinawa. The trip was organized by  Ancient textile producers network of Japan(古代織産地連絡会), and it was for textile enthusiasts.

The destination of this time was Kijoka in Oogimi village which is in the north part of Okinawa Island(the largest island).

Before leaving for the final destination, we stopped at Shiroma Bingata (stencil dye) Studio in Naha area and watched artisans putting colors on the fabrics.

A brick looking square rubber is used for pattern paper cutting, is actually dried Okinawan Tofu!

Tools: cutting knife, brushes with human hair.

Fabric examples for each step of dye process.



We arrived at Kijoka, in about two hours from Naha.

I have been in Kijoka several times before for private workshops.  (The session is on my Basho page or on my video Basho fiber taking).

The best feature of this trip was we could visit the show, “Basho-fu: now and bygone-days”.

That was a temporary show which was held in a sort of a community center.

The space was filled with old and new Basho kimonos(no glass cases!) and goods for everyday life made with Basho fiber.

There were some art pieces made by well known craft masters of Mingei Movement.

Although, Kijoka is not the only place for Basho-fu production, this cloth used to be woven throughout Sakishima Islands and Amami area.

Among all other Basho-fu producing areas, today, Kijoka is the only one which is recognized as a Basho-fu production district for “Traditional Craft” by Japanese government.

It looks so natural that Basho-fu has been produced in this place.

However, this natural looking scene is definitely a fruit of Toshiko Taira’s dedication.

Also Mingei leaders’ support and village people’s actual work made today’s Basho-fu.

Here is one article about the history.


Unfortunately, this lasted only for a week.