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この芭蕉布は糸の太さは中ぐらいで、庶民のものであったと思われる。 濃い藍の縞と浅葱色の細い縞が交互に織られ、現代にも通用する柄である。名 も無い農家の女性の、家族の為に織り上げた布が、100年近く経ても現代のテ キスタイルにも匹敵、いや、超えるほどのインパクトがあるのに驚かされる。

This banana fiber cloth is woven with medium weight thread. This cloth was most likely worn by a commoner.
The design of weaving dark indigo stripes that alternate with light indigo stripes is still very much in fashion today.
It is amazing that this design was created a century ago by an anonymous farm woman. Its beauty can stand alongside modern textiles─ or even surpass them.
Meiji - Taisho period

沖縄の女性が恋人の為に織って、贈ったといわれている手拭い。絣文様は東南 アジアから沖縄に伝わり日本を北上して伝播されたと言われている。この手拭 も南の影響を思わせる。

In Okinawa, it is believed that young women made these towels to give to their suitors as a symbol of love and commitment. History shows that kasuri weaving came to Japan from Southeast Asia by way of Okinawa. This Te-saji was woven with banana fiber and the pattern was influenced by Southeast Asian design.

- 芭蕉布 -
 日本の南方、亜熱帯に属する沖縄に自生している糸芭蕉から生み出された美し い布である。細い糸になると蝉の羽のような光沢と透明感があり、多くの人々 を惹きつけてきた。
丈5~8メートル、直径15センチ程の糸芭蕉の茎を何層かに剥ぎ取り、細く裂 いて、結んで長い糸にしていく。
最も内側の糸は、とても細く上質で、琉球王朝の士族の衣装になった。 外側にいくほど、糸は太くて荒くなり、庶民の日常着にしたと伝えられている。
芭蕉布は、戦前まで 沖縄全土で作られていたが、第二次世界大戦の戦火で、 芭蕉畑が壊滅状態になり、戦後一部の人によって復興された。特に平良敏子さ んは芭蕉布の復興に力を注がれ、人間国宝として、現在でも活躍されている。
- Basyo -
Banana fiber

This beautiful cloth is made from banana fiber. The plant grows in subtropical Okinawa prefecture.
The appeal of the fine thread made from banana fiber lies in it glossiness and translucency, which, when woven, creates cloth with the characteristics of dragonfly wings.
Once the plant grows 5 to 8 meters tall and 15 centimeters in diameter, the banana leaf stem is peeled layer by layer. The thin fibers are then tied together to create a long thread.
The thread from the innermost layer of the leaf stem is very thin and pliable. These high quality threads were used to make clothing for warriors in the Ryukyu dynasty.
The outermost layer produces thread that is thick and coarse, and these less refined threads were used for making everyday clothing worn by the common people.
Banana fiber cloth was made in Okinawa until WWII, when all cultivation was burned to the ground. After the war, few people worked on restoring the cultivation of banana fiber. One woman in particular, Ms. Toshiko Taira, continues to lead in the restoration today. She is considered a Living National Treasure.

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