Okinawa, Japan | Part 1: Shisa of Naha

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Folk crafts are the soul of Okinawa. Up until WWII Okinawa crafts were considered some of the best in Japan. From pottery to textiles, Okinawa was a distant and foreign place to the collector. The shisa is the symbol of Okinawa. They also represent the folk craft culture of Okinawa. They protect homes and buildings from ill fortune. They are as diverse as can be and no two are exactly alike. The lack of perfect symmetry, the imperfections in the glaze and clay. They are so uniquely beautiful. The colors, textures and patterns are inspired by the natural environment: blues of the ocean and sky, ochre of the soil, vibrant colors of flowers.

These are examples of some of my favorites from a recent trip. This is part one of a series on the Okinawa sense of beauty. OkinawaJapanShisa2 OkinawaJapanShisa3 OkinawaJapanShisa4 OkinawaJapanShisa5 OkinawaJapanShisa6 OkinawaJapanShisa7 OkinawaJapanShisa8 OkinawaJapanShisa9 OkinawaJapanShisa10 OkinawaJapanShisa11 OkinawaJapanShisa12

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