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Unique antiques at Oriental Place

By: Marie W. Conway

Date Posted: 1999-05-29

The recently opened Oriental Place is unique. As the only store on Okinawa to specialize in Chinese antiques, it is filled with wonderful furnishings aged anywhere from 80-120 years old. A browse-about will provide a wonderful selection of dressers, tables, and chests with a spectacular patina achieved only through aging. They also carry porcelain jewelry boxes, trays inlaid with elephant bones, wedding baskets, and tea containers used by the wealthy.

I was surprised to see the same type of items in the shop shown in magazines, like Better Homes and Gardens and Spiegel. The magazines featured several ways the pieces could be displayed in a Western style home, even though many years ago they had different functions. For example, some of the chests were once used as refrigerators in China. The magazines also quoted prices, which would be reasonable for a smart buyer of these Chinese antiques, and Oriental Place's prices were comparatively lower. Oriental Place owner, Yuki Chan from Shanghai, said she wants to offer the most affordable prices and quality treasures to her customers. Mrs. Chan has traveled through many parts of China; some in rough terrain to bring these treasures to Okinawa.

The antique furnishings sold here would be a conversation piece in any home. For example, some of the handles on the dressers are in the shape of bats, which symbolizes good fortune in China. Also some of the Chinese writing carved into the wooden dressers wish for longevity and prosperity. Of course, I wasn't able to escape without buying something that will bring eternal happiness, and also will fit nicely into our eclectic collection. Happy shopping!

Oriental Place is open from 10-5 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 12-5 p.m. on Sunday. The store is closed on Tuesday. They accept $, ¥en, and major credit cards. They also have a layaway program available. If you have further questions, please call 098-926-0228.

Directions: Head north toward Nago on Highway 58. After passing the gates at Camp Lester gates, move into the right lane and take a right onto Route 23. After passing the Hammer Restaurant and A & W, you'll see Oriental Place on the left.

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