ITEM METADATA RECORD
Title: Bashofu: Banana-fibre Cloth and its Transformations of Usage and Meaning across Boundaries of Place and Time in the Ryukyu Archipelago
Authors: Hendrickx, Katrien; M0130765
Issue Date: 23-Mar-2006
Publisher: S. n., Leuven, 2006
Abstract: Hoewel bashôfu aanzienlijke aandacht krijgt wegens haar huidige status a ls “cultureel erfgoed van Japan”, bleven haar herkomst en geschiedenis t ot hiertoe in het vage. Deze studie heeft tot doel om de herkomst van ba shôfu in de Ryukyu Archipel, inbegrepen de herkomst van de onbewerkte gr ondstof, methodes om draad ervan te maken en haar weeftechnieken, op te helderen. Deze studie stelt ook de vraag naar het waarom van deze techno logie en hoe het Okinawaanse volk die heeft ontwikkeld en in haar gemeen schap heeft ingepast. Aangezien bashôfu tot nu toe niet op een uitvoerig e manier bestudeerd werd, beschouwt deze studie het vanuit verscheiden s tandpunten die voortspruiten uit diverse studiegebieden, zoals pure gesc hiedenis, fytohistorie (plantengeschiedenis), etnografie, folklore en fi lologie. Bibliotheekonderzoek werd verricht voor de analyse van zowel Ry ukyuaanse en Japanse primaire bronnen met betrekking tot bashôfu , bestaande uit geschreven bronnen, tekeningen, schilderijen en foto’ s, als Chinese and Westerse bronnen. Deze studie behandelt ook materiële voorbeelden van stoffen en kledingstukken, die werden waargenomen tijde ns veldwerk, evenals bevindingen opgedaan door technische ervaringen en participerende observatie. De verhandeling bestaat uit vier delen. Deel Een geeft een overzicht van historische gebeurtenissen in Ryu kyu, waarin Ryukyu’s dualistische positie en relatie met China en Japan uitvoerig beschreven worden. Dit is noodzakelijk omdat Ryukyu/Okinawa’s historische omstandigheden rechtstreeks verband houden met de geschieden is van bashôfu en op haar betekenis en rol een ingrijpende invloed uitoe fenden. Deel Twee bevat een uitgebreide bronnenanalyse met betrekking tot bashôfu en haar productietechnieken in de Ryukyu Archipel, voor een peri ode gaande van ongeveer de 12e tot beging 20ste eeuw. Deze analyse breng t de verscheiden gebruiken van bashôfu en haar productieproces, zoals da t beoefend werd in het verleden, aan het licht. Het geeft ook een algeme en beeld van de acculturatie van de weefkunst van bashôfu in de Ryukyu A rchipel. Om verwarring te vermijden, worden, alvorens de bronnenanalyse aan te vatten, de belangrijkste textielvezels die gebruikt werden in de geschiedenis van de Ryukyuaanse weefkunst, met name ramie, ito bashô, zi jde en katoen, in detail besproken. In Deel Drie worden doorheen de vergelijking van de weeftechn ologie van Ryukyuaanse bananenvezel met die van Musa-vezels in Zuidoost- Azië en Zuid-China, eventuele verwantschappen onderzocht en de plausibil iteit van algemeen aanvaarde theorieën over de herkomst van bashôfu in d e Ryukyu Archipel nagegaan. Bijzonder relevant voor deze studie waren de Chinese bronnen, die het belang van Ryukyu’s relatie met Zuid-China in de geschiedenis van bashôfu aanduidden. Deze analyse wijst uit dat zowel de grondstof (Musa balbisiana) als de weeftechnologie van bashôfu in de Ryukyu Archipel geïntroduceerd zijn vanuit Zuid-China, niet vanuit Zuid oost-Azië zoals algemeen beweerd wordt. Deel Vier behandelt de tegenwoordige staat van bashôfu, met inbegr ip van haar huidige socio-culturele rol in de Ryukyu Archipel en de rest van Japan, doorheen een gedetailleerde beschrijving van materiële voorb eelden waarin bijzondere aandacht besteed wordt aan de veranderende waar de en functie van bashôfu. In Deel Vier wordt ook het gehele huidige pro ductieproces van bashôfu in detail beschreven, gebaseerd op v eldnotities en technische ervaring. Om te antwoorden op de vraag waarom ito bashô meer in trek kwam bij het Okinawaanse volk dan ramie ondersche idt Deel Vier andere gebruiken van deze plant dan die als textielmateria al, en vergelijkt haar nut met die van ramie.
Table of Contents: V O L U M E I Page

Acknowledgments…………………………………..……………..……………..…i
Table of Contents ………………….…………………………………………….…iv
List of Illustrations………………………………………………………………….x
Explanatory note……..………..……………………………………..……….…xviii
Writing and transcription systems………………….……………………….……xviii
About the Ryukyuan language………………………………………………………….…xix
Definition of terms…………………………………………………………………………..xxi

INTRODUCTION…………………………………………………………………..…1
Previous research and the current state of knowledge regarding bashôfu……...….2
Purpose of this study………………………………………………………………….…..5
Research questions………………………………………………………………….……5
Research methods……………………………………………………………….….…....6
Contents and scope of fieldwork and technical experience…………….…….….7
Limitations……………………………………………………………………….…….…..9
Organisation of the dissertation……………………………………………….…….….9

PART ONE: HISTORICAL BACKGROUND…………………………………….12
1.1. The Ryukyu Archipelago…………………………………………………………..13
1.1.1. Geographical location…………………………………………………..…13
1.1.2. Climatic characteristics and flora………………………………………...13
1.2. Outline of the history of Ryukyu/Okinawa and presentation of sources……….14
1.2.1. The Ryukyu Archipelago in Pre-history ……………………………..…..14
1.2.2. Old Ryukyu……………………………………………………………….…16
The Gusuku period…………………………………………………….…16
The establishment of the kingdom of Ryukyu …………………………17
The Great Trading Era………………………………………………………19
1.2.3. Ryukyu in Early Modern Times (1609 - 1879)…………………………..….21
Satsuma’s invasion of Ryukyu………………………………………….….21
The rule of Shimazu…………………………………………………………22
Chûzan seikan, the first Ryukyuan history………………………………..23
Awakening of Ryukyuan self-consciousness……………………..………25
Development of Ryukyuan historiography…………………………...……26
Internal transition in early modern Ryukyu…………………………..……28
The Sakishima Islands after the Satsuma invasion………………………28
Foreign scholarly treatises on early modern Ryukyu…………….………31
Western interest in the Ryukyu Archipelago………………………………33
The Amami Islands in the middle of the 19th century……………..………35
The abolition of the kingdom of Ryukyu (Ryukyu shobun)…...35
1.2.4. Okinawa in Modern Times (1879 - 1945)……………………………………37
The Taishô period: the rise of a new generation of native scholars……38
Pre-war Okinawa and the Japan Folk Craft Association…………………40
The battle of Okinawa………………………………………………….……41
1.2.5. After World War II………………………………………………………………42
U.S. military control (1945 – 1972) and the reversion of Okinawa to Japan……………………………………………….…………………………42
Measures for the promotion and development of Okinawa….………….43
Conclusion……………………………...………………………………………………43

PART TWO: REVIEW OF SOURCES……………………………………………46
2.1. Sources regarding weaving and dyeing in the Ryukyu Archipelago………………47
2.1.1. The earliest written sources on Ryukyuan clothing and weaving…………47
2.1.2. Textile fibres in Ryukyuan weaving history……………………………….…54
2.1.2.1. Ramie……………………………………………………………..…55
Nomenclature and morphology……………………………………55
Textual evidence……………………………………………………57
2.1.2.2. Ito bashô……………………………………………………….……59
Nomenclature and morphology……………………………………59
Textual evidence……………………………………………………62
2.1.2.3. Silk……………………………………………………………..….…67
Nomenclature and morphology…………………………….….….67
Textual evidence……………………………………………...…….67
2.1.2.4. Cotton………………………………………………………………..70
Nomenclature and morphology……………………………...……70
Textual evidence……………………………………………………71
2.2. Sources regarding bashôfu in the Ryukyu Archipelago………………………….…73
2.2.1. Ryukuan sources on the beginning of banana-fibre weaving in Ryukyu…73
2.2.1.1. What kind of textile may ‘seijuku kafu’ have been?……………..76
2.2.1.2. Sources in which ‘seijuku kafu’ appeared…………………..……80
2.2.2. Sources related to the use of bashôfu and ito bashô………………..……..82
2.2.2.1. Bashôfu in diplomatic relationships………………………………82
2.2.2.2. Bashôfu in clothing…………………………………………………87
Bashôfu as court garment……………………………….…………87
Bashôfu as garment for commoners…………………...…………92
2.2.2.3. Particular uses of ito bashô and bashôfu……………..…………97
Bashôfu and ito bashô as tax payment………………..………….97
Bashôfu during rites of passage……………………..……………99
Bashôfu on the market……………………………………………102
Paper made of banana fibre…………………………………...…106
2.2.3. Sources related to the production of bashôfu…………………….….……107
2.2.3.1. The “Basha nagare” ballad………………………………………107
2.2.3.2. Textual evidence for the weaving process…………..………….110
Preliminary tasks……………………………………..……………110
Weaving………………………………………………..…………..119
Woven patterns……………………………………..…………..…122
The finishing of superior bashôfu…………………………….….123
2.2.3.3. Colours, dyes and dyed patterns………………………….…… 124
Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………..……130

PART THREE: MUSA-FIBRE WEAVING IN EAST AND SOUTHEAST ASIA………………………………………………………………………………...132
3.1. Existing theories on the origins of ito bashô and banana-fibre weaving in Ryukyu………………………………………………………………………………………134
3.1.1. The introduction of ito bashô into Ryukyu from a phytohistorical viewpoint.…………………………………………………………………….…….…136
3.2. Sources on Musa-fibre weaving in East and Southeast Asia……………….……138
3.2.1. The Philippine Islands………………………………………………….……138
3.2.1.1. Philippine textile weaving…………………………………..…….139
3.2.1.2. Chinese sources related to Philippine Musa-fibre weaving…..139
3.2.1.3. Western sources related to Philippine Musa-fibre weaving..…144
The term abaca in Western sources………………………….…147
Abaca cloth as annual tribute……………………………….……148
Spanish interest in the Ryukyu Archipelago……………………149
3.2.1.4. The ‘Manila hemp’ boom of the 19th and early 20th centuries...151
‘Manila hemp’ and the Japanese in Davao…………………..…153
The decline of ‘Manila hemp’…………………………………….154
3.2.1.5. Abaca garments in Mindanao since the late 19th century…….155
3.2.1.6. The production of Musa-fibre cloth in the Philippines…………156
Musa species used for cloth-making…………………………….156
Preparation of textile fibre gathered from Musa species………158
Yarn-making of abaca fibre……………………………………….160
Dye sources used for abaca cloth……………………………….160
The weaving process: loom and techniques…………………...161
Post-weaving (finishing) treatments of abaca cloth……………162
3.2.2. Malaysia……………………………………………………………………….163
3.2.2.1. Brief outline of Malay textile production throughout history…..164
3.2.3. Indonesia……………………………………………………………………...165
3.2.3.1. Main materials used in Indonesian textile weaving……………166
3.2.3.2. Musa-fibre weaving in Indonesia……………………………..…168
3.2.4. Taiwan……………………………………………………………………...….169
3.2.4.1. Textile weaving in Taiwan……………………………………...…170
3.2.4.2. About Musa-fibre weaving in Taiwan……………………………171
3.2.5. Southern China…………………………………………………………….…171
3.2.5.1. Early Chinese contacts with Southeast Asian countries………172
3.2.5.2. Textile materials in China……………………………………...…173
3.2.5.3. Textual evidence of Musa-fibre weaving in Southern China….174
Early written sources on Musa species used as textile
material in Southern Asia……………………………….……..…175
Sources related to the processing of Musa fibre into yarn……176
Early sources indicating places of Musa-fibre weaving in China……………………………………………………………….178
Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………….……181

PART FOUR: BASHÔFU IN THE RYUKYU ARCHIPELAGO TODAY...……183
4.1. Early fieldwork………………………………………………………………………...184
4.2. Taira Toshiko and the revival of banana-fibre weaving in Kijoka…………………184
4.3. Banana-fibre weaving as ‘important cultural property’ of Japan………………….187
4.4. Material examples of bashôfu………………………………………………..…...….193
4.4.1. Bashôfu for commoners in the past and at present………..………….….193
4.4.2. Fine garments of priestesses and officials…………………………………200
4.5. The production process of bashôfu today…………………………………………..204
4.5.1. Growing conditions and cultivation of fibre banana plants…………….…205
4.5.2. The yarn-making process……………………………………………………207
4.5.2.1. Stripping of the layers…………………………………………….207
4.5.2.2. The boiling of the fibrous strips………………………………….209
4.5.2.3. The ‘extraction’ of banana fibre…………………………………210
4.5.2.4. The yarn-making………………………………………………….212
4.5.3. Banana-fibre weaving today……………………………………………..….215
4.5.3.1. The preparation of the warp…………………………………..…215
4.5.3.2. Winding the warp on the warp-beam………………………..….216
4.5.3.3. Drawing the warp ends through the heddles………………..…217
4.5.3.4. The preparation and weaving of the weft………………………218
4.5.4. Post-weaving treatments…………………………………………………….220
4.5.5. Decorative techniques applied to bashôfu………………………………...221
4.5.5.1. Ikat patterns……………………………………………………….221
4.5.5.2. Shuri hana-ori……………………………………………….…….224
4.5.5.3. Rôton-ori………………………………………………………..….225
4.5.5.4. Bingata on bashôfu…………………………………………...…..226
4.5.6. Dye sources………………………………………………………………..…227
4.5.6.1. Ryukyu ai……………………………….……………………….…230
4.5.6.2. Sharinbai………………………………………………….….……231
4.5.6.3. Other dyes…………………………………………………..……..231
4.6. Usefulness of the fibre banana plant…………………………………………..…...233
4.6.1. Brief comparison of banana fibre and ramie…….……………………...…234
Conclusion………………………………………………….……………………………….236

CONCLUSIONS………………………………………………………………….……….. 239
Key findings related to the research questions……...…………………………………..239
Importance of this study……………………………………………………………………246
Discussion concerning the future of bashôfu………………………………………..…..247
Future research……………………………………………………………………….……248


V O L U M E II

BIBLIOGRAPHY…………………………………………………………………………….249
1. Sources in Asian languages………………………………………………………...…249
2. Sources in Western languages………………………………………………….……..272
3. Website………………………………………………………………………………..….281

APPENDIX 1……………………………………………………………………….…..…….282
About the Ryukyuan court rank system………………..………………………….……282
Table of the court rank system……………..……………………………………….…..284
Outline of the organisation of the Shuri government……………………………….…..287

APPENDIX 2…………………………………………………………………….……………288
① Rekidai hôan document (RH 1-31-27)……………………………………….………288
② “Basha nagane” ………………………………………………………...…………..….290
③ Yoseyama Uêkata Yaeyama-jima nômuchô………………………….……………..292
④ Nantô zatsuwa………………………………………………………………………….294

APPENDIX 3………………………………………………………………………………….295
Table 2: Banana-fibre (and other) textiles listed in the Rekidai hoan……………..….295
Maps…………………………………………………………………………………….... 299
Figures………………………………………………………………………………………304
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: TH
Appears in Collections:Japanese Studies, Leuven

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