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Yomitan Pottery Festival slated for this weekend

By: Kenny Ehman

Date Posted: 1999-03-02

The "Yomitan Yachimun Matsuri" will take place this weekend on February 27 and 28, at Zampa Misaki Park. It is the first major pottery festival of the year, and will showcase the talents of many of Yomitan's fine potters. It is also an excellent chance to get some real bargains on many functional and also decorative pieces of pottery. If you have never seen this traditional Okinawan art, the festival will provide you with the opportunity to view many different styles of pottery, and you can try your hand at the potters wheel at a special demonstration area. There is also a charity auction scheduled on both days, starting at 3 pm. Proceeds will go to the Yomitan Social Welfare Office.

Although Okinawan pottery can be purchased at many of the island's gift stores, the "Yomitan Yachimun Matsuri" offers huge discounts on most pieces. It also brings a wide range of variety to one area, providing collectors with a selection of both quality and quantity.

The art of pottery making has long been a tradition on Okinawa. During the Ryukyu Kingdom era, Okinawans began to receive a reputation for being talented artisans, which helped to increase trade with neighboring Asian countries. Today, the same pride in craftsmanship is still held by those who continue the Okinawan tradition.

Yomitan, which has supported many of the Okinawan fine arts over the past 30 years, has managed to attract many of Okinawa's younger potters. This new breed of artists has been responsible for elevating Okinawan pottery to new levels of creativity.

This week's festival will begin at 10 am on both days and will continue until 7 pm. To get to Zampa Misaki Park, head north on Highway 58 from Kadena. Turn left on to Route 6 and proceed past Torii Station. Follow the signs to Cape Zampa and continue straight towards the lighthouse. the park will be on your right after passing the Zampa Royal Hotel.

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