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Iriomotejima – Yaeyama Minsa weaving  ”Iriomotejima Teshigoto Center”

Iriomotejima - Yaeyama Minsa weaving
”Iriomotejima Teshigoto Center”

DATA
Iriomotejima Teshigoto Center
870-277 Uehara, Taketomicho, Yaeyama-gun, Okinawa

Traditional textile of Iriomotejima

Minsa is one of the traditional textiles of Okinawa, and it is said that the process of rib weaving cotton vertically was passed along in early 16th century. In Chinese, ”Min” means ”cotton”, and ”sa” is ”narrow”, so it is interpreted as narrow sash made of cotton. It widely spread to various regions in Okinawa, but the ones passed on in the Yaeyama region is called ”Yaeyama Minsa”.

Yaeyama Minsa is characterized by five and four square shaped ”kasuri” patterns arranged alternately. Back in the days where ”commuting marriage” was customary, there was a custom for women to give Minsa to the men they were fond of. It is said that the meaning of Minsa pattern is ”Forever in this world (Itsu (five) no yo (four) mademo), for many years to come, weaving each thread with heart, and swear my unchanging love”. It reflects the feeling of women hoping her husband would visit her as often as possible.

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