Okinawa

Southernmost prefecture with unique culture and history as the kingdom of Ryukyu

Okinawa is the southernmost prefecture that consists of various islands. Okinawa developed its unique culture and history as the kingdom of Ryukyu under the influence of Japan, China and Southeast Asian countries. In late 19th century, the Ryukyu Kingdom was dissolved and Okinawa became part of Japan. Okinawa has US influence too due to the most number of US military bases following battles during the World War II.

Ryukyuan cuisine - It represents local cuisine in Okinawa made by only local ingredients from Okinawa. It includes Mimiga, boiled or steamed pig’s ear, Goya Champuru, stir-fried goya with tofu, sliced pork and egg, and Soki Soba, noodles topped with spare ribs.

Satoukibi - Satoukibi, sugarcane, is produced the most in Okinawa due to its resistance to typhoon.

Chinsukou - traditional sweets that is the mixture of Chinese and Japanese sweets since the Ryukyu Dynasty

Awamori - one of the most famous local alcohol of Okinawa

Shuri Castle served as the center of the Ryukyu Kingdom for politics, international relationship and cultural communication from 1429 to 1879 until Okinawa became a Japanese prefecture.

 

Its unique architectural style of the combination of Japan and China.

 

Okinawa is known for magnificent beaches across the prefecture in warm climate.

 

Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, one of the largest aquariums in the world, is a place to see lives of ocean animals. It has succeeded in raising a number of whale sharks and mantas. 

Ryukyu Bingata is an Okinawa’s original technique in dyeing. It was originated around 14th or 15th century during the reign of the Ryukyu Kingdom by combining dyeing techniques from China, India and Indonesia through trading. 
Yachimun pottery is another example of Okinawa’s local unique product that was developed under the influence of Asian countries that had close connection with Okinawa through trading. Yachimun means ware in Okinawa’s dialect.
 
Ryukyu Glass has improved its technique after the World War II in response to making glasses for American militaries at bases in Okinawa by using recycled glasses from coke and beer. 
Skin Care Cream

Lard Labo Cosmetics Co., Ltd

Born from Okinawa’s Wisdom and Blessing of Nature

From ancient times, pork has been a familiar ingredient to people in Okinawa not for cooking but also for protecting a body from the sun, heat and humidity. This skin care cream was made of pig’s lard. This cream can be used in many ways such as hand cream, facial care, sun damage care, and hair care. 

Indigo Tenugui

Ryukyu Indigo Dyeing - Aibatake

Indigo Dyeing with Okinawan nature

Aibatake uses Ryukyu Indigo that they grow on their farm to dye all of their products. The pattern of their tenugui (thin Japanese hand towels made of cotton) represents the nature that can be found in Okinawa such as hibiscus, goats, and tropical plants that are unique to Okinawa and it was all dyed by their staff.

Bingata items

Katachiki

Bingata to your daily life

Bingata is a type of  Okinawan traditional resist dyed cloth. Katachiki makes items that you can use in your daily life by using Bingata. Katachiki preserves techniques and methods of Bingata that have been passed down for centuries and makes it more accessible.

Ryukyu T-shirt

REPRESENT OKINAWA

Pride in Okinawa's home town

REPRESENT OKINAWA specializes in making T-shirts, pullovers, and hooded pullovers that represent different Okinawan local towns. Each design represents a town in Okinawa. It is their hope that Okinawan people wear it wherever they are to show their pride in where they come from.

Ryukyu Kasuri

Marumasa Kasuri Fabric

Unique Okinawan pattern in kasuri

Kasuri is a Japanese traditional weaving technique. Marumasa Fabric Labo focuses on making Ryukyu kasuri that has unique Okinawan patterns. The threads are dyed before weaving and then used  to create the pattern.

Lacquer Pendant

Lacquer art in Okinawa is said to have been passed on since the 16th century. Lacquer artist and master, Yoshio Koshima, takes you through the art history with his inspiring lacquer art and decorative skills. His works have been praised by numerous people, including the Japanese emperor, who was gifted one of Koshima’s urushi boxes. He has also received many awards for his skills in this craft.

Yoshio Koshima

Lacquer art by an acclaimed artist
Address: 300 7th street Brooklyn, New York 11215
Tel: 347-987-3217
Open daily from 11am to 7pm
4 minute walk from 4th Ave-9th St Station
4 minute walk from 9th St Station
2 minute walk from 5th ave/7th St Station