Miyako-jofu is hemp cloth made by weaving flax known as choma, and is characterized by a fine weave and elaborate splashed patterns. The cloth is known to last for three generations. Some 400 years ago, a ship en route for China from the Ryukyu Kingdom (present-day Okinawa) was in imminent danger of shipwreck in a storm, when a man from the island of Miyako-jima who happened to be on the ship jumped into the sea and fixed the damaged section. The Ryukyu king rewarded the man by taking him on as a retainer, and the mans wife, overjoyed, presented the king with the cloth. This is said to be the beginning of regular production of Miyako-jofu, which is now produced in the city of Hirara, Shimoji-cho and other locations. In 1975, Miyako-jofu was designated a traditional craft by the Japanese government.'
Address: Miyako Traditional Crafts Research Center, 3 Nishizato, Hirara-shi, Okinawa
[Walk]Hirara port/10-min. walk