“Katachiki/Bingata” Workshop Fosters Exchange and Appreciation for Royal Art

bingataworkshop1.pdf bingataworkshope3.pdf bingataworkshop2.pdf Saturday and Sunday, August 9th and 10th, a total of 35 Hawai`i residents enjoyed and experienced the art of making the royal cloth of “katachiki” or bingata stencil dyed fabric. This workshop is in conjunction with Yuhske Yokoi’s exhibit at the Academy Arts Center Linekona, which is running through August 20th.  Scheduled for a total of 30 maximum for the 2 days, the workshop filled quickly and actually went over the expected participant count.  It was a good thing that extra supplies were available.  The overwhelming attendance made this workshop a big success.  Yokoi, who has his studios in Shuri, and Tamagusuku , Okinawa, led the class, with descriptions on the process and implements. “It is very interesting to see the colorations that people here use, and the kind of image that they come out with”, said Yokoi. “Everyone works so intensely on their piece that its hard to tell if they enjoy it. I didn’t want them to be so serious.” This was a rare opportunity to learn this art as many bingata artists don’t reveal the whole process and ingredients in making the resist and dyes. Yokoi believes that by teaching and sharing, he is helping to spread the appreciation of the royal art. The same vision the Ukwanshin Kabudan has. “I really learned alot, and can really appreciate the whole process. I don’t know how anyone could have the time to dedicate to do this work as a living. I appreciate these artists”, said Jamie Oshiro, one of the participants. On Saturday evening, the workshop participants and others were treated to a performance of “Living Textiles of Okinawa”, in a dance and music performance that connected to the textiles of LooChoo. “It was the first time I saw the kimono actually dance with the dancer. It was just amazing”, commented Yukie Shiroma, a modern dance artist and teacher of the Kin Ryosho style of Okinawan dance. “I wish more people could have the opportunity to see this kind of presentation.”Ukwanshin’s journey of bringing these treasures of Okinawa to people, continues to bridge cultures as we bring the arts and culture of our ancestors to the world. We hope that those who participated in the workshop enjoyed and learned about something from a past that was almost lost.  We hope to bring another bingata workshop in the future.  Maybe with an advanced class, for those who came to this one.  Special mahalos to the Academy Center at Linekona, and Carol,Brad, Alan, and Rick….The  Caste Resorts Maile  Sky Court Hotel and Luana, …Steve and the Doris Duke Theater Staff. 

4 thoughts on ““Katachiki/Bingata” Workshop Fosters Exchange and Appreciation for Royal Art

  1. Linda Yara

    Hi – I just am in awe of the work that Ukwanshin is doing to have us “don’t know anything about Okinawa” people begin to grasp the depth and scope of the culture. Thank you so very much for including me in the events. I have enjoyed it immensely. My brother calls this my “Okinawan renaissance” summer. In the spring, I became involved with the Bhutanese exhibitions and events at the Academy which opened up the world of living with spirit as I got to see how the monks lived their religious practices. I just love that they have a “gross national happiness” index. Now with the Okinawan culture and events, it feels as though I’ve “come home”. At least that’s how I felt when I first held a sanshin – it was so comfortable as though I’d done it before (not in this lifetime!). I bought the gajimaru eisa print as a way of having something at home to honor the past if only to bring it out during obon season.

    After we talked at Shelby’s graduation party and you told me about the oli and the Okinawan delegation in Waianae, I’ve come to notice that as island kingdom nations both Okinawa and Hawaii have soooo much in common that it’s almost eerie. How the Hawaiian renaissance that began with Palani Vaughn and the return of the cultural arts to the militantism of Haunani Trask and the new Hawaiian nation movement strikes me as being very similar to Okinawa. Both native peoples are inviting and generous and both nations have been taken over by the American government leaving behind a wake of military bases.

    Let me know if there’s anything I can do. It’s only with the enthusiasm and energy that people like you and Eric and the Ukwanshin gang demonstrate will the rest of us be drawn into this magical world of discovery that our culture is deeper and richer than just being pig farmers and people who have fun parties.

    In some ways Okinawans are like the Chinese as they’ve spread themselves throughout the world leaving their mark. Uncle Edwin remarked on his trip to Peru that he saw a fishing boat with the name Yara on it. When I was in the Phillipines, I traveled down a road built by Okinawan migrant workers. The doctor who developed the Okinawan Program of health became fascinated with his 105 year old patient and his 97 year old sprightly wife in Canada. While we have married out and brought back an interesting diversity to the cultural landscape, it’s been going on for eons as Okinawa was the port in the storm as well as a major stop on the sea trade routes which were the “silk road” of the seas.

    Wow – and I just wanted to say thank you. — linda

  2. Kaimi Smith

    You folks did a fantastic job with the workshop/dance presentation. I sent my friend to the workshop and she was just amazed at the amount of information that was shared. A group of us later attended the dance presentation which was highly informative & enjoyable. They now look forward to your presentation at Mamiya theater later this month. Does Eric teach dance? & Do you folks have a group of supporters that meet?

    Keep up the Good Work…Kaimi

  3. Eric Wada

    Mahalo Kaimi for your comments. It makes us very happy to know how people’s experiences were with our projects. Its just a small way we can pass on the treasures of our ancestors to our community, just as the Ukwanshin ship carried trade with many neighboring countries. I do teach dance, and will be performing in the Mamiya show. We have a group of supporters but don’t meet with them. Maybe we should start meeting? That would be great. Also look at the link on the side “Ukwanshin etc.” Theres more pictures and a short clip of our LooChoo nu Kwa show in Okinawa.

  4. Eric Wada

    Linda, Thank you so much for your comments that really makes us feel great that we are helping people to get in touch with their identity. Our task is not just to steer people in the direction of Okinawan identity, but also for other cultures, due to the mish mash of stuff we have all around us that dilutes our senses to the pureness of culture. Its when we open ourselves that we can appreciate others, and honor the generations past, who are connected to the arts. I hope you will continue to join us on our journey. Thank you again. Ippe nifwe debiru!

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