Japanese page

History of the Aya Weaving & Dyeing Studio

Moving from Okinawa to Miyazaki
The roots of the Aya Weaving & Dyeing Studio are in Okinawa. Masakazu Akiyama’s father, Tokiwa, began a weaving business during the Taishō period (1912–1926), but during World War Two he was evacuated from Okinawa and his factory was destroyed. After the war, he settled in Miyazaki and made a new start. His son Masakazu later pursued the goal of reviving Miyazaki’s unique garments, and settled in the town of Aya, known for its abundant nature and textile industry. In 1966, he founded the Aya Weaving & Dyeing Studio.

1921: Tokiwa Akiyama opens a dyeing business
1927: Adds business silk throwing and begins developing Shuri Ori cloth
1940: Becomes director of the Okinawa Prefecture Weavers Association
1944: Forced to return in August to hometown of Tanushimaru in Fukuoka Prefecture because of the worsening war situation for Japan; in October Naha is devastated by air raids; leaves everything behind in Okinawa
1951: Textile industry revives in Miyazaki Prefecture
1961: Masakazu takes over the textile business
1966: Establishes Aya Weaving & Dyeing Studio in Aya, Miyazaki Prefecture