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Minsa is a type of traditional Okinawan textile that developed about 400 years ago. It was during this time that Okinawa started to produce cotton, which they dyed with indigo to produce minsa. A traditional minsa pattern consists of four and five small rectangles. These rectangles represent eternal love. This deep meaning of the minsa patterns were the result of the minsa being a traditional gift given from a woman to a man when accepting his proposal or showing her love for him.
This tradition was especially common on the Yaeyama Islands and thus minsas are often associated with Yaeyama. Another common pattern are a series of horizontal lines called the Mukade moyo or "centipede pattern". This pattern represents a woman's wish for her man to visit her often. The process of dyeing the cotton with indigo numerous times also represents how her love for her man is deepened like the deep color of blue of the minsa.
Want to pick up your own Minsa? You may be able to find this gorgeous fabric and other great materials during our best-selling line of Quilt Festival Japan Tours in January and Spring. These tours explore the top craft & stitch related locations in Tokyo to find great fabrics for your next project. You can also customize a Japan tour through Okinawa to shop for Minsa at the source!
Authentic Okinawa Ryukyu Island Fabric Dye Patterns
Kimono Show and Demonstrations.
Japanese traditional form of decorative little stabs.
Museum displaying beautifully crafted kimono
Traditional Japanese Clothing with a Modern Twist
The Nippori Tomato is a textile store located in the Nippori Textile Town.
Japanese fabric store in the famous Nippori Textile Town
Japanese Paper from the Barks of Kozo, Mitsumata, and Gampi.