Where Beauty Dawns

Ūji-zome (Ūji Dyeing)

Brief Summary and History

Ūji-zome is the collective term for dyed and woven fabric products that showcase the rustic and comforting allure of ūji (sugarcane in Okinawa language), expressed in gentle shades of color. Ūji-zome is primarily carried out in two different ways – “sakizome”, where threads are first dyed before weaving, and “atozome”, where dye is directly applied onto woven fabric. Ūji dye is made with the leaves and panicles of sugarcane, and its color gradation varies depending on the length of dyeing time and the season of the year that sugarcane leaves are harvested for the production of dye. In addition to verdant and chartreuse shades of green, gentle pink hues are the hallmark of “kasui-zome”, a form of ūji-zome using flowering spikes of sugarcane that bloom from mid-December to February.

Ūji-zome evolved as part of a community revitalization project that began in 1989. Today, dyed products enjoy special stature as local specialties of Tomigusuku City, and the craft is expected to further contribute to regional revitalization in the future.

Basic data

Material(Dyeing) Hemp, silk, cotton; (Textile) Cotton thread, silk thread, hemp thread
Place of manufactureTomigusuku City
Main Products"Noren" (Japanese entryway curtains), neckties, bags and pouches etc.
Partnership name and date of establishmentTomigusuku City Ūji-zome Business Cooperative Association, September 6th, 1994
Source*Source: "An Outline of Promotion Strategies for the Craft Industry"; official website of Tomigusuku City Ūji-zome Business Cooperative Association (http://www.u-jizome.jp)