kariyushi wear (sometimes, and incorrectly called simply "kariyushi shirt") is a term typically applied to describe a type of shirt that is quintessentially Okinawan. They are brightly designed (although many are more subtly colored) with shisaa, bingata, and floral patterns. In the summer months the kariyushi wear are often worn in lieu of the traditional white shirt and tie.

The shirts actually became popular after 1970 when hotel workers began wearing them in an attempt to attract tourists to Okinawa. Over time tour guides and other travel-oriented workers began wearing them. Now, many central Okinawan government workers wear these shirts during office hours having been prompted to do so in 2005 as part of a "Cool Biz" campaign. Each head of state wore one during the 26th G8 summit held in Okinawa in 2000. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi wore one at the 2003 Japan Pacific Islands Summit that convened on Okinawa.

They can be purchased for a few thousand yen but some go for tens of thousands. Those are the type made out of musa basjoo, the Japanese fiber banana, similar to Hawaiian tapa cloth.

One must be cautious though when using the name "Kariyushi Wear" as it is a trademark of the Okinawa Industrial Joint Association. Specifications for qualifying as Kariyushi Wear include provisions that the material used in their production must be manufactured on Okinawa, and the pattern must promote Okinawa tourism.

In the photo above I am wearing a Kariyushi Wear shirt that I purchased at Style in the Rycom AEON mall in 2017. I love it! Created by a kariyushi master in Kadena Town the intricacies involved in this work of art make it well worth the 20-something-thousand yen I spent to obtain it. Enjoy a closer look at the details...

I purchased another shirt in 2019 that was a little more sensibly
priced; JY 3,700 but you can plainly see the difference in quality.
This is a more typical example of what I have seen frequently throughout Okinawa.

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