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Traditional Tsuboya pottery has its own festival

Date Posted: 2008-10-31

A three-day festival dedicated to Okinawa’s classic Tsuboya pottery is about to kick off in downtown Naha City.

The 4th Tsuboya Pottery Street Festival runs Saturday through Monday in the heart of the capital city’s pottery district, with exhibits and instructional classes on the treasured pottery, which dates back to the early days of the Ryukyu Kingdom, when traders sailed the waters between Korea, mainland Japan, China and southeast Asia nations. There’s also plenty of music and dancing, and food.
The festival begins at 10:30 a.m. Saturday on Tsuboya Pottery Street and the adjacent alley shops area. Pottery-making demonstrations will run throughout the day, until 5 p.m., showing the distinctive Ryukyu pottery that’s hand-crafted in glazed pottery, or joyaki, or unglazed pottery, or arayaki. Pottery made by local artisans will be available for sale.

The festival puts Tsuboya pottery to good use at noon, with curry being served on Tsuboya pottery plates. The entertainment kicks in at 5 p.m., with dancing, an appearance by the Tsuboya sanshin club, and live music.

Sunday’s festival pays homage to the Okinawa sweet potato, with special activities planned 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Tsuboya Pottery Museum will be open free of charge Monday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. as part of the pottery festival activities. Tsuboya Pottery Street will be alive Monday with Tsuboya shisaa drama, eisaa and Na Lai Aloha I kamakani, a Fura dance.

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