Poloyushi shirts popular

<em>Poloyushi</em> shirts popular

At Ryukyu Shimpo Newspaper Company on June 29, Taichi Naka (on the right) and Takeya Uehara promote the poloyushi shirt, which is selling well.

June 30, 2011 Ryukyu Shimpo

A polo shirt version of kariyushi wear is selling well.
Kariyushi shirts were originally created as business wear during summer in Okinawa and are designed based on Hawaiian shirts but with uniquely Okinawan cultural motifs.
Project Core Inc. (president Bokunen Naka), which works on original product development in Yomitan Village, has commodified a polo shirt version of kariyushi wear.
The poloyushi shirt is sold in HabuBox, a T-shirts store operating four branches in the prefecture.
Sales of the shirt started from the Golden Week holidays, attracting not only local customers but also tourists from outside the prefecture. Its popularity has been on an upward curve ever since, in fact so much so that production cannot currently meet demand for some types of poloyushi shirt.

Taichi Naka, the director of Project Core Inc., said, “We developed the poloyushi shirt based on the concept of putting forward a new style unique to Okinawa. Taxi companies, real-estate agencies in the prefecture and hospital facilities in other prefectures have started adopting poloyushi shirts as their uniforms. The shirt is used not only in the resort industry but also in business settings and is creating a new trend in casual clothes in Okinawa. We hope that it might help vitalize the economy of Okinawa.”

Sales of poloyushi shirts commenced from 2009, and to start with, Project Core manufactured products themselves, but of course this meant that the price was relatively high at 9800 yen per shirt including tax. Now, the company designs the shirts in Okinawa but manufactures them in China, allowing them to keep the price down to 5500 yen (tax included) per shirt, and therefore to give a new lease of life to the poloyushi shirt concept. Nakama said, “The poloyushi shirt has succeeded in attracting new customers because of the Cool Biz campaign (the name of an energy-saving campaign the Japanese government instituted in 2005) has been revisited due to the need to save electricity in the Tokyo Metropolitan area.”

There are four types of poloyushi shirt in the motif of various designs such as a flower block, which is a design used for concrete block walls in Okinawa, hibiscus and galingale.
Each of the shirts comes in two colorways and six different sizes from SS to LLL.
Takeya Uehara, of the design planning division of Project Core said, “We created designs that aim to make customers imagine Okinawa.”

The company is scheduled to release seven new types of poloyushi shirt in the middle of July.
For further details, call HabuBox, AKARA branch at 098(936) 8239.

(English Translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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