Preserving the craft, craftsmen learn to plaster traditional Ryukyuan red-tiles

Preserving the craft, craftsmen learn to plaster traditional Ryukyuan red-tiles

Tadashi Tabata (far right), president of the Okinawa Ryukyu Aka-gawara Plastering Cooperative, explains the Ryukyuan plastering technique to participants on December 5, at the Okinawa Vocational Ability Development Association in Nishi, Naha City.

December 6, 2020 Ryukyu Shimpo


On December5, the Prefectural Ryukyu Aka-gawara Plastering Cooperative held a training course on plastering Ryukyu aka-gawara, or red earthen roof tiles, for plasterers from all over Okinawa, at the Prefectural Vocational Ability Development Association located in Nishi, Naha City. The course objective is to train new talent to preserve the traditional Okinawan scenery of earthen red roof tiles.


The participants worked in earnest to learn the traditional technique; Wearing serious expressions on their faces, they aligned the red earthen roof tiles and skillfully applied plaster to the gaps.


Tadashi Tabata, representative director of the cooperative, who served as the lecturer, explained that the Shuri Castle fire gave him more reasons to contemplate how to preserve the Ryukyuan plastering technique. Tabata explained the significance of the course and said, “Transfer of skills usually happens within an enclosed group. We need to open up and give various people the opportunity to come in contact with Ryukyu aka-gawara plastering.”


Tatsuya Nakazato, 57, traveled from Motobu for the course. He said, “It was a different experience from plastering a wall. I hope to make use of the skill I learned today.”


(English translation by T&CT and Monica Shingaki)


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