There is a lovely book store specializing in Okinawan culture near Hankyu Okamoto Station. We recommend visiting the store before you go to Okinawa.
Some time ago, my partner and I by chance came across a small but unique book and crafts store dedicated to Okinawan culture. We were walking in a neighbourhood close the Hankyu Okamoto station when we discovered this small cultural oasis run by a lovely couple.The store is actually located in the ground floor of a residential apartment block. If you are looking for it and blink, you may just miss it all together!The owner’s passion for Okinawan culture comes across in their in-depth knowledge about the island and its people. The book store has both new and used books, crafts and a selection of food products.
The store’s charming feel and the friendly nature of the owners make it true pleasure to browse through their collection. If you cannot make your way to Okinawa, this is a wonderful spot to immerse yourself in Okinawan culture in a relaxed atmosphere.
The owners are very welcoming and make sure their visitors enjoy a cup of tea while they browse through the store.
Mameshobo sell unique hand-woven Warabi baskets made by the craftsman Haruko Kuniyoshi.
The Warabi basket is made from bracken (a type of fern). This type of basket is very durable as it is resistant to water and humidity. At Mameshobo I was able to compare a new warabi basket vs one made some years ago. To be honest, apart from the slight change in color, the older made basket still looks as durable as the new item.
Warabi basket craftwork is a dying art, with Haruko Kuniyoshi herself turning 100 years old this year! I hope to one day have an opportunity to meet her and purchase one of her baskets 🙂
I feel fortunate to have discovered this Mameshobo and develop a friendship with the owners.