Group calls for creating “Saion Street” in Naha’s Asato area
July 7, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo
A group of young entrepreneurs is trying to name an alley at the foot of the Saion Bridge over Naha’s Asato River “Saion Street” in a bid to turn the area into a hub for new fashion.
The group includes Dan Shinjo, producer of “Plant & Soil,” a store that opened in 2014 selling cutting-edge fashion and household goods from Japan and abroad. Shinjo plans to work with neighboring “II3 (Uno Dos Tres),” an apparel store, and “13 (Trece),” a cafe, to provide a “playground without genre boundaries” that he hopes will revitalize the neighborhood.
Shinjo, a graduate of Naha High School, worked for a fashion-related PR company after graduating from a university in Tokyo. He met with Tomoya Miyagi, who was working in the apparel industry in Tokyo, and they shared a vision for boosting Okinawa’s economy through fashion. Shinjo returned to Okinawa ahead of Miyagi and opened “Plant & Soil” with his high school classmate Shion Matsumora.
The three stores offer brand-name clothing items well known in Tokyo as well as Okinawa’s traditional crafts, such as Ryukyu glass mugs. They set up a coffee counter offering “Nago Coffee,” which is entirely produced in Okinawa.
U.S. brand fashion items and skateboards are available at “II3,” which opened July 4 and is run jointly by Miyagi and Kota Oshiro. The adjacent “13” is operated by Yoshihiro Miyagi, serving jerk chicken and alcoholic beverages.
The five plan to organize arts events and other joint activities at the three outlets. They want to create a place where both locals and tourists can gather. More information on the three stores can be found on Facebook.
(Translation by T&CT and Scott Murphy)
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