Haebaru-Hanaui to be designated National Traditional Craft

It is expected that “Haebaru-Hanaui”, a textile originated from Haebaru Town, will coon be designated a National Traditional Craft. Haebaru-Hanaui textiles are characterized with their unique pattern, and they can be weaved quickly.

The Industrial Structure Council Traditional Craft Designation Subcommittee in Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry received an official proposal on the matter Wednesday, and the formal decision is expected after January.. Haebaru-Hanaui will become the 15th designated National Traditional Craft in Okinawa.

Haebaru-Hanaui is weaved in Kyan, Motobu, and Teruya districts in Haebaru Town, and 324 kihaku (kijaku is a standard length of material used in a kimono) of fabric, and 1,675 pieces of kimono belts were produced last year. Designating Haebaru-Hanaui as a National Traditional Craft is expected to raise the profile of the textile and make it more widely known. After the designation, makers of the textile would become eligible for government subsidies to secure and train future weavers to keep the craftsmanship alive, as well as developing new products, and for exhibitions at craft fairs. The government subsidies can rise to the maximum of two-thirds of the costs.

A Designated Traditional Craft should meet five requirements, including it can be used in daily life, it’s a hand-made product or the main part of its manufacturing process is done by hand, and the manufacturing process uses a traditional techniques.

Haebaru-Hanaui has no evidence to prove having “more than a hundred years of history”, since the old fabrics were destryed during the Battle of Okinawa. However a civil servant found an article about Haebaru-Hanaui in Okinawa Daily Newspaper date 13 December, 1914.

jasmine