Yonaguni-ori is a collection of brocade that includes hana-ori, dutati, kagan’nubū and sidati, which are classified according to differences in weaving techniques and other characteristics. Hana-ori is a patterned weaved fabric made from silk thread that has been heddled in the same technique as Shuri hana-ori. Plain woven dutati, characterized by its latticed patterns, is used for the island’s unique tubular-sleeved kimono. Kagan’nubū, a kasuri fabric weaved with pre-dyed cotton threads, refers to obi sashes whose appearance is rendered by combining thick weft threads with thin warp threads. Sidati, with its multiple variations of raised patterns, are deceptively simple in taste but require laborious effort to complete. They refer to smaller pieces of fabric that include towels and handkerchiefs made of threads of silk, cotton, hemp, and bashō (wild banana) dyed with lily-of-the-valley, indigo, and other naturally occurring materials.
While the origins of Yonaguni-ori are not known, records in the form of observations by a man who drifted ashore from Korea to Yonaguni in 1477 noting the presence of weaving looms and characteristics of local dress suggest that the textile was already in existence in the 15th century.
|Material||Silk thread, cotton thread, bashō thread, hemp thread|
|Place of manufacture||Yonaguni Town|
|Main Products||Kimono, obi, cloths and towels etc.|
|Partnership name and date of establishment||Yonaguni Town Cooperative Association for Traditional Weaved Textiles・January 17th, 1983|
|Date designated by national||April 18th, 1987|
|Date designated by prefecture||Yonaguni dutati: June 11th, 1974, Yonaguni sidati: June 11th, 1974
Yonaguni hana-ori: June 12th, 1998, Yonaguni kagan'nubū: June 12th, 1998
|Source||*Source: "An Outline of Promotion Strategies for the Craft Industry"; official website of Yonaguni Town Cooperative Association for Traditional Weaved Textiles (http://www.yonaguniori.org)|
The Sonai district of Yonaguni Island, the westernmost island of Japan, serves as the primary center of production for Yonaguni-ori. In 1982, the Yonaguni Town Cooperative Association for Traditional Weaved Textiles was established following the opening of Yonaguni Town Traditional Craft Center in 1978, which served to promote the weaved fabrics of Yonaguni through production facility tours and commercialization of Yonaguni-ori. Tourism-backed retail of Yonaguni-ori accounts for approximately 30% of total production, which suggests potential for further expansion. The industry is poised to diversify its product line beyond garments to include accessories, and sales are expected to grow by further positioning Yonaguni-ori uniquely within the island’s tourism industry, in addition to efforts to boost exhibition sales and increasing functionalities of the fabric.