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In 1372,a man named Taiki was sent by Satto, the King of Chuzan ,to the Ming Court. The aim of this mission was to establish the Ryukyus as a tributary state of China and as an international trading Kingdom.

 

Around 1420, King Gosamaru built the castle at Zakimi in Yomitan. This was the beginning of the ‘Great Trading Age‘.The large ‘Bankoku-shinryo’Bell carries an inscription which declares the Ryukyu Kingdom a prosperous country at this time.

 

It is thought that the techniques of Yuntanza-Hanaui, Kasuri and Ukiori originated  in China and Southeast Asia. They were further developed in Yomitan and became the cotton textiles associated with the Ryukyu Kingdom Era.

 

Over time, knowledge and use of the techniques gradually declined. By the end of World War ll they had been all but forgotten. The textile Yuntanza had 600 years tradition, but it was in danger of extinction.

 

In 1964, a passionate woman succeeded in reviving the dyeing and weaving techniques that had lain dormant for almost 90 years in Yomitan Village. A group of Hanaui enthusiasts formed and later became the Yuntanza Hanaui Co-operative.

Today the product is well known throughout Japan and has been recognized by the Ministry of Economy and Manufacturing as a Prefectural Intangible Cultural Asset.

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