Hawai‘i Herald Columnist
Okinawa is such a beautiful place, not just the ocean and scenery and culture, but the people. I’ve been treated well and taken care of by many people here in what has become ‘My Hawai‘i.’” — Colin Sewake
VISITING YOMITAN HANAUI
Location: Takashiho, Yomitan; July 16, 2018
This morning, fellow Okinawa-Hawaii Kyou-kai member Masaji Matsuda asked if I could come over to Yomitan Hanaui’s Namihira studio, which, actually, is located in Takashiho. He wanted to introduce me to some ladies who weave traditional Okinawan textiles.
Yomitan Hanaui’s main factory is located near the Yomitan Sonyakuba (village office) in Zakimi — they have another factory in Sobe. Knowing that I’m from Hawai‘i, he called me over because 10 weavers will be traveling to Honolulu later this month to do hanaui demonstrations at the Honolulu Museum of Art. Hanaui is the Okinawan language pronunciation — in Japanese, it would be hanaori.
The group will be led by Hiroko Matayoshi (in the white T-shirt and eyeglasses), who is the director of Yomitan Hanaui. The demonstrations at the Honolulu Museum of Art will be held from Friday to Sunday, Aug. 10 to 12.
The group plans to arrive a few days early to set up their loom. It’ll be a great opportunity to see and learn about a traditional Okinawan cultural art from women who do this work on a daily basis.
I also learned that the women will be giving a public talk on Okinawan dyeing and weaving techniques and the history behind the tradition on Thursday, Aug. 9, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the University of Hawai‘i’s Hamilton Library, Room 301. English language translation will be provided.
The speakers will be: Mieko Taira, who will talk about bashofu weaving; Hiroko Matayoshi, who will speak on Yomitan hanaui; Machiko Miyagi, whose talk will be on Ryükyü kasuri and Haebaru hanaui; and Okishige Maeshiro, who will talk about Ryükyü aizome. The program is free and open to the public. It is co-sponsored by Hamilton Library’s Okinawa Collection, the UH Center for Okinawan Studies, and the Department of Art and Art History.
I hope you can attend one or all of these special events. I think you’ll come away with a greater appreciation for this beautiful