Where Beauty Dawns

Ryukyu Kasuri・Haebaru Hana-ori

Brief Summary and History

Ryukyu kasuri refers to kasuri produced mainly in the town of Haebaru. Amongst some 600 different types of geometric patterns created using straight lines, Ryukyu kasuri is characterized by the use of patterns that are closely related to daily life, such as symbols of birds and carpenter tools (known as tui-gwa and ban-jō respectively in Okinawa language).  Ryukyu kasuri, with its rustic texture and tropical languor, can be regarded as the representative traditional Okinawan textile.The origins of Ryukyu kasuri can be traced back to 1611, when Gima Shinjo, a top Ryukyuan official central to the development of industries in the kingdom, brought back cotton seeds from Satsuma and cultivated them in the region of Kakinohana. Weaving primarily began in cotton kasuri before silk kasuri was introduced around 1935. Silk kasuri now makes up the majority of kasuri production.

Kasuri of Haebaru Town is made from wool, cotton and silk threads. It is characterized by a heft and warmth not found in other kasuri textiles, making it popular for use in winter kimono and outerwear. Kasuri production began in Haebaru during the Taisho era (1912-1926), and is classified into two main types, hana-ori (where patterns are present only on the front of the fabric) and uki-ori (where patterns are embossed on the back of the fabric).

Basic data

MaterialSilk, cotton, hemp thread/silk, cotton, hemp, wool thread
Place of manufactureNaha City, Yaese Town, Haebaru Town/Haebaru Town
Main ProductsKimono and obi
Partnership name and date of establishmentRyukyu Kasuri Business Cooperative Association, February 13th, 1975
Date designated by nationalRyukyu Kasuri: April 27th, 1983
Haebaru Hana-ori: January 26th, 2017
Date designated by prefectureRyukyu Kasuri: June 11th, 1974
Haebaru Hana-ori: June 12th, 1998
Source*Source: "An Outline of Promotion Strategies for the Craft Industry"; official website of Ryukyu Kasuri Business Cooperative Association (http://ryukyukasuri.com/?page_id=33)