Basho trees and cross section of stalk

“Nowadays, basho fu is considered a sophisticated textile. But, in its long history, it was traditionally employed in everyday use, even by working farmers. It was woven most everywhere on Okinawa Island. Today, however, only one section of the island produces it. Islanders relied almost entirely on the fabric prior to the introduction of cotton and silk.


“When I was in Okinawa, during a conversation with some Okinawan women, I was told that they made school uniforms for their sons from basho fu into the 1960s.”