909 Tonoshiro, Ishigaki, Okinawa 907-0004
Here are reviews and photos of the Minsa weaving experience. I visited Minsa Kogeikan Azamiya. (Minsah Kogei Museum Azamiya)
You can walk from Ishigaki Port and there is a parking lot, so it's easy to get there. I booked the experience the day before.
At the entrance, there is a place to dry the dyed threads. A lot of beautiful threads are drying, and I feel like I'm going to have a good time. I wonder if I can experience weaving using this later.
There is a large building in the back, and the second floor is the Minsa Craft Museum. I came here earlier than the reservation time to take a look. After all, I want to learn about Minsah along with experiencing weaving.
Elaborate textiles such as the dress used in the NHK (Japanese official TV station) annual new year's eve singing competition are on display. Many minsah textiles have accents of 5 and 4 squares. It means "I love you forever" in Okinawa from a long time ago.
The museum is much larger than I imagined. You can also study the detailed explanation of the pattern.
There are many plants that can be used as materials for dyeing. It is amazing.
This design chronology seems to be a modern history starting from 1971. It's amazing that there is enough information left to create this document. It seems that Minsah textiles have been around since the Ryukyu Kingdom era.
Since it is time for the reservation, I will head to the experience workshop in another building.
Looms are lined up in rows. Threads of various colors are stretched, and the width of the fabric that can be woven is also varied. The narrowest width is the coaster size. I chose a rather large luncheon mat size.
How long does it take to stretch the warp (vertical) thread? It is undoubtedly a meticulous and time-consuming task. In this state, you can already imagine the state of completion. Experience participants will create a stylish Minsah textile just by passing the weft thread from side to side.
Gachan, ton ton, gachan, ton ton, this repeats. Gachan is the sound of stepping on the foot pedal. When you step on the pedal, the upper and lower positions of the two layers of warp threads are switched. Wrap the weft threads around the boat-shaped tool and slide them through the layers of warp threads.
Ton ton is the sound of hitting a wooden bar from the front. If you hit it with a tap, the gap between the threads disappears and the surface of the textile increases by one line. If you pass the weft threads alternately from side to side like this, the textile will be completed in no time.
My travel companion, who is new to the weaving machine, seems to be very satisfied.
On the 1st floor of the Minsah Craft Center, I saw craftsmen arranging the warp threads for the loom. Wow, that looks complicated. The video below also shows my weaving experience. When you run out of weft threads, the instructor grandma will teach you how to tie a new weft thread. (Actually, she tied the knot for me so I don't mess it up.)
At the craft museum, wonderful Minsah crafts are sold. Minsah weave yukata belts are so stylish that I really wanted to buy them. Rather than buying a small product, probably it's more satisfying to make something through experience. Next time when I visit, I will try to make the largest wall hanging size textile.
Please visit my glass jewelry shop from the link below.