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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien
Event Series
August 18, 2022

Online talk by Lisa Onaga on Silk-Making Knowledge in Amami Ōshima

© private

The signature designs featured on Amami Ōshima tsumugi textiles today are so intricate that they can resemble shimmering pixels on a computer screen. Even though designers have been confined to the geometry of squares, the patterns appearing on these textiles have changed remarkably over time. Why? This talk reflects upon recent fieldwork conducted in Amami Ōshima driven by this simple question. Study of the dynamic process of textile production illuminates the complicated archipelagic location between Kagoshima and Okinawa that has informed Ōshima tsumugi production and trade. Tracing how weavers themselves scrutinized the notion of Amami Ōshima tsumugi enables critical contextualization of the postwar consumption of Amami Ōshima tsumugi by the “mainland” relative to the preservation of archipelagic knowledge and livelihood. Details and registration here

Lisa Onaga, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science / DIJ Tokyo