Chibana-hanaori textiles Photo:Okinawa Prefecture

Chibana-hanaori textiles Chibana hanaori

Exquisite textile revived for the first time in 100 years.
The free sensitivity of people is restored in the traditional textile.


What is Chibana-hanaori textiles ?

Chibana Hanaori is a textile produced in Chibana, Okinawa City, Okinawa Prefecture.
The characteristic of Chibana Hanaori is the flowery patterns woven in the base textile. Textiles that have a continuous geometric pattern like Chibana Hanaori are referred to as Mon-orimono (figured fabric). It is said that the gorgeous pattern was brought into the country from southern Asia. There are two kinds of Chibana Hanaori. One is the Tate Uki Hanaori, in which patterns appear vertically. The other is the Nuitori Hanaori, in which the patterns woven look as though they are embroidered. The raw material was mainly cotton but sometimes silk and wool were also used. Normally, a textile design uses the same pattern woven continuously for the whole length of the kimono fabric. However, Chibana Hanaori sometimes had different patterns at the beginning and at the end. This was because Chibana Hanaori was not subject to tax collection, although there were many textiles that were given as gifts to the government in lieu of paying money for tax during the Ryukyu Royal Kingdom period.
Chibana Hanaori was also worn for ritual events and this custom is still passed down today.


Chibana-hanaori textiles - History Photo:Okinawa Prefecture

The origin of Chibana Hanaori is not clear. However, it is said that the Hanaori was first woven in the region surrounding Kyu Misato-mura (Okinawa City today) around the 18th century. The Ryukyu Royal Kingdom was actively trading with China and the southern Asian countries around that time; therefore, it is considered that the origin of the Hanaori was south Asia. Chibana Hanaori was not subject to utilization as a gift to the Royal government so the designs of the textile could be woven freely and it was also worn for ritual events. Chibana Hanaori had been worn for the rituals to pray for a big harvest, such as Umaharashi (a horse race) on 14th August and Usudeku (a traditional dancing festival for women) on 15th August in the old calendar. However, after the Meiji period started, the production of Chibana Hanaori declined rapidly.
Okinawa had catastrophic damage during the First and Second World War and the technique of producing Chibana Hanaori completely died out. In 1989, fortunately, Chibana Hanaori was revived for the first time in 100 years. The government supports the movement to protect the technique today so the textile is actively produced not only for kimono material but also for accessories including men’s ties.

General Production Process

Chibana-hanaori textiles - General Production Process Photo:Okinawa Prefecture

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