26 Aug 2016 in So Design
Places like Taketomi island are still rare. This preserved island in the South of Japan gathers craftsmen with exceptional skill.
Taketomi Island in the South of Japan, in Okinawa Prefecture, is renowned for its craftsmanship and for the quality work and skill for traditional basket making. Many of them are featured in the village museum, which presents and sells a selection of crafted pieces as a point of pride for locals. It should be said that the local flora is generous here, providing them with everything they need – such as the abundance of pandanus trees growing along the coastline, producing leaves used in these basket making.
Shosuke Matsutake is one of these artists-craftsmen who sustain the island’s traditional know-how. He is one of the oldest and most popular specialists. He harvests ramie, shell ginger, formosa palm, and chinese windmill palm leaves himself, along with a few other varieties of leaves that he dries himself before creating strips which will be used to create baskets and other wickerwork creations.
Plan time to meet Shosuke Matsutake during your stay at HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island and learn about his art. Enjoy a private lesson in the lounge and build your own basket. You will learn how to do each step, from structuring to weaving. And once you have mastered the basic steps, you will find that there is nothing easier than crossing, mixing and adjusting fibres until you have created the desired shape. If you have any doubts or make a mistake, do not worry, the master is by your side, attentively watching you work and willing to help out. The best reward comes at the end – the incomparable satisfaction of having produced this object yourself, which will be the most wonderful souvenir to bring home with you.