During the 15th century, the Ryukyu Empire included Okinawa and many of its surrounding islands, which flourished as a trade mecca connecting South and East Asia. It is believed that through trade, a mesh of cultures eventually took form in many of the empire’s cultural facets, including bingata — a resist-dyeing textile art specific to Okinawa.
Characterized by bright colors and symbolic stencil art, Bingata was worn by high society, and many examples are now designated national treasures. To commemorate the 40th anniversary of Okinawa’s return to the Japanese domain, many of these treasures, including garments worn by the Ryukyu royal family, are on display; till — July 22.
Tokyo Midtown Galleria; (03) 3479-8600; 3rd Floor; 9-7-4 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Roppongi Station, Subway Toei Oedo Line; 10 a.m. — 6 p.m. (Fri. and Sat. till 8 p.m.). ¥1,300. www.suntory.com/sma/exhibit/2012_03.