December 21, 2017

Amakusa Saraca Somemoto Nonoya

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  • While in town, spare some time to visit the shop that makes traditional Sarasa design.  Sarasa is a unique fabric pattern from Amakusa and is derived from the Portuguese word calico or printed cotton cloth.

    Sarasa was brought to Japan by the Portuguese traders from India. The design became popular among the Japanese during the Edo period. It was used to introduce the history and culture of Amakusa. When the oppression of Christians rose in Amakusa, the people used Sarasa designs as a medium to secretly express their faith.

    The colors found in Sarasa patterns are created using plant dyes. The most common designs of Sarasa are birds, plants, flowers, and nature. These designs were applied to products like futon covers, pouches, and wrapping cloths.

    Sarasa is a very rare find in Amakusa. In fact, the only one practicing it in Amakusa is the owner of Nonoya Sarasa, who learned from the old residents of Amakasa at an early age. The owner was commissioned by the mayor of Amakusa to continue the Sarasa tradition and teach it to the younger generation.

    Immerse yourself in the culture of Amakusa and learn how to make Sarasa design! Price starts at ¥2,500. The shop is open from 11:30 am to 6:00 pm and is closed every Thursday.


    Address: 863-2171 Amakusa-shi, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan

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