Art from Adversity (dyeing and weaving)

In 1637, the poll tax had been executed in Miyako and Yaeyama areas. All the people from the age of 15 to 50 except officials and disabled persons had to pay it. Islanders were forced to work from early morning till late at night in order to produce enough rice and clothes to pay. Women who had to pay clothes were locked in a miserable shack built beside the village guardhouse, weaved and weaved, observed by officers.
Under such a circumstance, the skill and perfection of beautiful texture became greater.

Choma, ingrediant for ramie yarn

There are a number of entertainments refer to dyeing and weaving. That even includes a field of traditional songs, seasonal songs, and dancing. The song, "Haradatinumabunaryouma-Yunta" is about a genius girl who was so incredibly talented under such a taxful circumstance that officers could not help apologizing to her.
"Nakasuji nu Nubehma Bushi"and"Kunnoura Nubunaryouma Yunta" are also convincing evidence that dyeing and weaving had been deeply connected to their daily lives.
Mr. Yoshinosuke Sotomura, the manager of Kurashiki Folk Culture Museum, had visited Taketomi Island since before the World War II. When he visited the island after the war, he realized the sound of weaver had become quieter and quieter. Mr. Sotomura and his colleagues tried to convince the Ryukyu Government to revive the wonderful textile culture, however, Okinawa was under the control of the US at that time, so that it was impossible to import cotton freely. Cotton was an IQ(import quota) product then. Thanks to his perpetual effort, the cotton supply became possible. That was the time the Minsah weaving style had revived.

The indigo woof for kasuri
Ingredients and finished products

During the war period, however, jibata(a weaver requires to weave on one's feet) had been made use of firewood. Therefore takahata(a new weaver capable to sit and weave) had taken the place of jibata. It's obvious that you can't weave in the same way. To make it similar,"kasuri" had to be used for "ayatsuburu" (a warp thread), and ji-string had to be used for "jitsuburu" (the woof). That way, you can reduce the number of string, and then its creation would become similar to traditional Yaeyama cloth. With so much challenge and patience, weaving skills have become what it is today.

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