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Traditional craft of “Bingata” and Okinawa’s rich nature stay package

HOSHINOYA Okinawa, the pinnacle of Okinawan luxury is offering an accommodation package titled "Ryukyu Bingata Stay" from March 1 to May 31, 2024, in which you can experience the profound charm of ”Bingata”, a traditional craft that was developed by Ryukyu Dynasty-era trade and Okinawa's unique nature. Guests can watch Ryukyu dances performed in fascinating ”Bingata” clothing, learn about the history of ”Bingata”’s development as stage costumes, and receive direct instruction from craftsmen while dying ”Uchukui”, a type of furoshiki (a traditional Japanese cloth used for wrapping) which has been popular since the days of the Ryukyu Dynasty. In the budding spring, when the vivid colors of ”Bingata” are in the air, come and enjoy the world of beautiful ”Bingata” that was created by the history and nature of Okinawa.

The traditional craft of Bingata is said to have originated around the 13th and 14th centuries. It was later developed for use in stage costumes in the early 18th century and was a valuable trade commodity during the Ryukyu Dynasty. ”Bingata” uses designs that incorporate nature and cultures both in Japan and from abroad that interacted with Okinawa. We developed this program to learn about the background of Bingata’s development as a stage costume and the profound charm it adds to dancers’ graceful movements.


1Discovering the history of ”Bingata” through fascinating stage costumes

In the past, the “Bingata” was used in clothing and ceremonial dresses for women in charge of Shinto rituals, but when Ryukyu culture began to flourish, it was developed for use in stage costumes. For example, the costumes used in “Onna Shichi Odori,” a representative classical Ryukyu dance, express the feelings and age of the main character with bright yellow and calm pale blue-green, and the spirit of hospitality and authority are expressed with patterns such as phoenixes and peonies. When you discover the emotion woven into the “Bingata” on the stage, you’ll obtain a deeper sense of the beauty of “Bingata” and the sensibilities of the Ryukyu people.

2Immerse yourself in making “Bingata” under the guidance of craftsmen

Experience dyeing “Uchukui,” a large style of cloth similar to furoshiki that has been beloved since the Ryukyu Dynasty. The mold used is an original design with a modern arrangement of classic patterns associated with celebrations or prayers, such as plums and peonies. Out of the production process’s many steps, you’ll experience coloring, where you’ll mix pigments and dye the fabric, and shading, which brings out a three-dimensional effect.“Bingata” fabric with detailed designs requires skillful brushwork and color coordination to keep the colors from overlapping or bleeding into each other. In a special room set up like a private workshop, you will receive direct instruction from craftsmen and get work while hearing advice on stenciling, layering colors for shading, and more.

3Learn the basics of “Bingata” in the Bingata garden tour

In the “Bingata” Garden Tour, you will tour the spring garden with HOSHINOYA Okinawa staff, where plants are budding and flowers are blooming all around you. The “bin” in “Bingata” means color, and in the garden, plants that can be used as dyes, such as tulip mangroves and fukugi trees, are grown. The “gata” in “Bingata” means design, and you’ll also learn about characteristic Okinawan patterns such as the Okinawan flying fox and designs incorporated in modern works such as shell ginger and bougainvillea flowers. After your walk, stop by the Tsudoi Gathering Building to see HOSHINOYA Okinawa’s original “Bingata” works and experience the delicate, charming expressions of Okinawan customs along with skilled dyeing techniques.

Craftsman introduction: Ryukyu Bingata Business Cooperative
Based on their philosophy, "Bringing Ryukyu Bingata to the world with tradition as our cornerstone,” they preserve the Okinawan intangible cultural asset that is ”Bingata”.
This cooperative develops crafts. The "Bingata Preservation Society" was founded in Showa 25 (1950). After that, the Ryukyu Bingata Business Cooperative was established, which is engaged in the training of successors and the utilization and preservation of intellectual property.
Performers' Organization: The Ryukyu Traditional Performing Arts Design Lab
Ryukyu Traditional Performing Arts Design Laboratory (Representative: Masaya Yamauchi / Professor, Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts, holder of the Okinawa Prefectural Designated Intangible Cultural Property “Okinawan Traditional Music – Tansuiryu") Based on the concept of "tradition and innovation through honorable hospitality,” we perform Ryukyu traditional arts with a focus on traditional small groups and small spaces. We have members with master’s qualifications in singing shamisen and dance. In 2020, our style of Ryukyu classical music and dance performances by one person each won the Good Design Award.
Sample Stay Schedule
Day 1
4:00 p.m. Bingata garden tour
Day 2
10:00 a.m. Watch a Ryukyu Dance
2:00 - 5:00 p.m. Bingata-making experience (3:30 p.m. Short break with tea and snacks)
Day 3
10:00 a.m. Instruction on Bingata washing
12:00 p.m. Check out
March 1st, - May 31st, 2024
¥260,000 (incl. tax and service charge) for one group of two guests
*¥50,000 for each additional person, maximum of four people
*Accommodation fee not included
Price Includes
Bingata garden tour, Ryukyu dance viewing, Bingata-making experience (All events are private)
1 group per day, up to 4 people
Accepted via the official website until two weeks before your stay
The contents of the program are subject to change depending on the weather.