宮古上布 Miyako-jōfu

As with Yaeyama-jōfu, Miyako-jōfu was also presented as tribute cloth to the Satsuma Domain. While Yaeyama-jōfu was known as Shiro-jōfu (white fine ramie cloth), Miayko-jōfu was known as Ai-jōfu (indigo fine ramie cloth). Introduction of the shimebata (binding loom) from Amami Ōshima during the Taisho period (1912- 1925) made minute kasuri (spalsh) patterns possible, and fabric dyed almost black through repeated applications of indigo dye would reveal fine kasuri patterns only to the most attentive eyes. As attention has turned in recent years to the Iro-jōfu (colored fine cloth) that was woven for the royal court of the Ryūkyū Kingdom, relaxed and colorful Miyako-jōfu has drawn new interest as well.

宮古上布は、苧麻(ちょま)という種類の麻から織られた麻織物で、細い糸で織り上げた布は、とても滑らかで丈夫なのが特徴です。今から400年前、琉球の貢物を乗せた船を台風から救った宮古島の男が、琉球王に功績を称えられ、その妻が布を織って王に献上したのが宮古上布の始まりだと伝えられています。