Pottery in Okinawa 沖縄の陶芸

There are many reasons why Okinawa is a great tourist destination. This post will feature the charm of Okinawa from a craft point of view. Okinawa is known for great craft culture such as lacquerware, pottery, textile and glass. I’d like to feature pottery here.

Okinawa has its unique pottery called Yachimun. Its origin dates back to the pre-historic era and . In 17th century, tile roofs were widely used in whole Okinawa. Pottery studio started making tiles and they were all gathered into one area called Tsuboya in Naha. In this part of the town, now there’s a street called Yachimun-dori that hosts many pottery shops. At the beginning of the street, there’s a poetry museum, which provides extensive information about Yachimun. The museum houses a small shrine devoted to God of pottery.

This street is a heaven for amateur potters like myself. It’s very hard to resist the temptation of checking out every single shop. They showcase a variety of products. Some of them are more traditional Yachimun style with retro patterns, while others are more modern with geometric patterns. They were great source of inspiration for my next pottery project.

Many shops are specialised in products made by one particular pottery studio and some of them organise workshops for visitors. We just missed the last session, which was 4pm, but making Shisa would have been an amazing experience!

Yachimun street is very close to the busy Kokusai dori full of touristy shops are, but lovely old Okinawan townscape is left. So make sure to wander around and walk in small allies. You’ll find wells, stone walls, and another sacred space.


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