Our resident Japanese design shop at Oxo Tower Wharf, wagumi, celebrate Okinawa this summer with a special evening of distinctive craft and traditional music.
After celebrating Okinawan Day with a stall at Spitalfields Market in June, wagumi continue the celebrations at their HQ at Oxo Tower Wharf on the evening of Friday 19 June.
The Okinawan islands are a land of culture and craft, more than 600km south of Japan’s larger archipelago.
Ceramics in Okinawa, or yachimun, are known for their cobalt blue glaze, and vivid patterns.
wagumi will showcase members of the emerging generation of ceramicists based in the north of the island. The region is called Yambaru, and is an area of nature, mountains and jungle.
There will also be examples from Okinawa’s distinctive glass blowing tradition.
And no craft in Japan has a more romantic association than Okinawa’s bashōfu banana thread weave, used to create textiles. The material, and the skills to work the banana thread were almost lost in wartime period, but through the efforts of 98 year old Toshiko Taira and her group of associates in Kijoka, Yambaru the practice has been retained.
Visitors on to the shop on the evening of 19 July will also enjoy traditional music from Okinawa Shanshin Kai, a Okinawan signing group based in London.
How to find wagumi:
First Floor at Oxo Tower Wharf, riverside.
Accessible via the staircases at the east and west of the building, the courtyard stairwell as well as via the lift at the central lobby.