Daughter makes kimono for mother’s beiju celebration

Daughter makes kimono for mother's beiju celebration

On September 22, at the home of Kikue Akamine in Yakena, Yonashiro in Uruma, Akamine (center in the front) holds her beiju celebration kimono made of Chibana hanaori, which her daughter Tomoe Matayoshi (third from left in the front) made.


September 28, 2012 Ryota Shimabukuro of Ryukyu Shimpo

In the night of September 22, a celebration was held for Kikue Akamine at her home in Yakena, Yonashiro, in Uruma, to mark her 88th birthday (as calculated in the East Asian age system), which is known as beiju. Her daughter Asae Matayoshi, a weaver of Chibana hanaori, one of the Okinawan textiles designated as a national traditional craft, made a kimono for Akamine out of the woven cloth. Akamine wore the kimono during the celebration, and her family and friends celebrated her longevity with her.

Ten years ago, Matayoshi went from working in retail to becoming a hand-weaver of Chibana hanaori and since then she has always wanted to create a kimono for her mother. She started making it this June and wove day and night for about four months at the Chibana Hanaori Co-operative in Okinawa City. She finally finished weaving the kimono at midnight on September 12. In response to her colleagues congratulating her Matayoshi said, “I was able to make it because everyone helped me.”

Akamine smiled, saying, “At first, I told her that she should sell the kimono, but now I’m really happy to have received it.” Akamine went on to say that the key to longevity has been spending time outdoors with friends. On that day, her friends of sanshin club took part in the ceremony, dancing and playing the sanshin. “I have been given a magnificent kimono and everyone celebrated with me. I couldn’t be happier today.” Akamine said.

(English translation by T&CT, Lima Tokumori and Mark Ealey)

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