Ukwanshin Okinawa Tour: Day 3, Haebaru, Itoman, Tamagusuku

Day 3 for the tour took us first to the town of Haebaru, which is known for it’s weaving of Ryukyu kasuri.  We arrived at the Haebaru Kasuri Kaikan and watched a video on the process of weaving the fine and valued material that has made this area so famous.  Wallking in the village below the weaving center, you can hear the rythm of looms as the women of the village create masterpieces of splashed patterns.  Okinawa has gained the reputation of having some of the finest hand woven textiles in the world.  Everyone was amazed at the intricate and intense preparation even prior to the weaving, and then everyone could understand why the prices for this fabric is what it is.  Almost all of the members of our tour bought something from the vast array of souvenir items for gifts to maybe keep for themselves to remember their visit, and to have something that shows the famous Haebaru textiles.

We then left for a short ride to the Haebaru Bunka(culture) Center.  Here we got to see the replica of the famous Haebaru cave that was used as a Japanese military hospital .  Other stories of accounts during the war, especially from Haebaru, was displayed all around, along with pictures. This stop brought back some of the heaviness we felt when we went to the Tsushima Maru Museum, however, we also could see the connection from the other day and today.  There was also another part of this exhibit that showed the life cycle events in the life of an Okinawan prior to the war.  It went from birth to death, and also had photos of everyday life, equipment, and stories.

We then took a break for lunch in Itoman at a bed and breakfast  that is owned by the cousin of Atsuko Tamagusuku sensei.  They prepared the kinds of food that you would only have at a special occasion and we were thinking on going for more salad, then the ice cream, however, the time for anyone to

The food was so delicious, “ma-san”.

After lunch we headed down to the Mabuni hill and the Itoman area where the casualties of war was over 100,0oo.  That sadness and connections to the heart were obvious when we all saw the photos and articles of the war, but its these small detailed morning , which helped to connect the Tsushima Maru .

We then left to Tamagusuku as we travel to Yusuke Yokoi’s house for the “katachiki,’ workshop..  Families and friends who survived the war, when it will happened.  Our day ended with sanshin playing and dances by Brent and I.  Everyone was so intense during their weaving, and it took some lot on the tour.  the Yusuke’s also tried to find the drinks.  By the time the end of the day , everyone was kind of wiped out and apprehensive about how it will look, so we headed back to the hotel.