Don’t miss this Christmas tree made of Ryukyu textiles this holiday season

Don’t miss this Christmas tree made of Ryukyu textiles this holiday season

A rendering of what the Christmas tree, made of various traditional Okinawan textiles, will look like. (Courtesy of Seitaro Design, Inc.)

November 14, 2019 Ryukyu Shimpo

Ryukyu Bingata Preservation and Expansion Consortium (RBPC), a group working to spread and preserve traditional Ryukyu textiles is teaming with Okicom, a software developer, to install a Christmas tree at Naha Airport.

The tree will feature eight of Okinawa’s bingata varieties designated national traditional crafts. The aim is to advertise Okinawan history and culture to locals and tourists by installing the tree at Naha Airport, the island’s gateway to the world.

The Christmas tree is designed by Seitaro Yamazaki, an artist who works both domestically and abroad. The tree will comprise the Kume-jima tsumugi, Miyako jyofu, Yomitan-zan hanaori, Ryukyu kasuri, Shuri ori, Kijyoka bashofu, Ryukyu bingata, and the Chibana hanaori. The fabrics, gathered from each locality, will wrap around a tree approximately 6 meters tall. Lighting will be installed to brightly illuminate the textiles at night, while during the day, the fabrics will sway in the breeze, providing travelers with a special ambience.

The tree will be located at Fukugi Hall inside Naha Airport. A representative for Naha Airport Building Co., Ltd said, “It’s a great way to get travelers to visit Fukugi Hall and its surrounding restaurants and shops.” The lighting ceremony will be held in early December, and the Christmas tree will be on display until mid-January.

There will be placards displaying information on each of the textiles, allowing travelers to learn about traditional Okinawan crafts.

Shinji Odo, Executive Director of RBPC and Managing Director of Okicom said, “I wanted to provide people with the means to learn about traditional crafts, and experience and enjoy Okinawa.” His goal is to “promote traditional crafts and get people to use them in everyday life.”

(English translation by T&CT and Monica Shingaki)

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