#Sabani

Itoman city, which is located at the southernmost part of Okinawa, is called “City of Uminchu(fisherman)” because the fishing industry is flourishing in town.“Sabani” is a fishing boat which was used by Uminchu in Itoman city. Ken Uehara and Kiyoshi Oshiro, who introduce the history of Itoman Uminchu and Sabani tradition to the world, talk about Sabani; why it attracts them so much.

Location:Itoman City

Itoman Uminchu Koubou (Art & Craft Center), Itoman Sabani Factory

Itoman Uminchu Koubou (Art & Craft Center), Itoman Sabani Factory

Itoman Uminchu Koubou (Art & Craft Center), Itoman Sabani Factory

Itoman Uminchu Koubou (Art & Craft Center), Itoman Sabani Factory
  • Location

    4-11, Nishizaki 1-chome, Itoman City, Okinawa Prefecture

  • AccessAccess

    30 minutes by car from Naha Airport

A museum which purpose is to preserve, pass on, and collect documents of Itoman’s fishermen history and culture. Displays of handmade piscatorial tools and commodities that the Itoman fishermen used. The Mikagan swimming goggle which draws out the potential of Monpano-ki (Helitropium foertherianum) wood and Umifuzo, a watertight cigarette case, are must-see items. Enjoy a first-hand experience of the lifestyle, wisdom, and creativity of our forerunners. Visitors can try rowing Sabani and take part in various workshops.

President of the NPO Hamasuuki
Director of the Itoman Uminchu Art & Craft Center
Ken Uehara

Satoru Yahata

Satoru Yahata

His father is the late Shintaro Uehara, inventor of Nanyo-Hagi type Sabani made from limited wooden materials in the South Sea Islands during and after the war when there was a shortage of supplies.
Most of the documents in the museum were collected by Ken Uehara. He also received instructions from the last Mikagan craftsman, Yukichi Kinjo (1900~2001), learned by watching him, and acquired the skills to make his own Mikagan, Umifuzo, and other traditional piscatorial tools. Uehara is the walking dictionary of Itoman’s piscatorial culture. He’s also the Commissioner of NPO Hamasuuki. Currently resides in Itoman City, Okinawa Prefecture.

President of the Itoman Sabani Factory
Sabani Boat carpenter
Kiyoshi Oshiro

Satoru Yahata

Satoru Yahata

After graduating from junior high school, Oshiro’s father, a boat builder, taught him how to manufacture a Sabani. Marine technology has advanced and the demand for Sabani are scarce, but Oshiro continues to pass on the technology while running a boat repair business. He has built approximately 80 Sabani boats so far.