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Nakayama Dye Workshop (中山染工場)

February 21, 2018


What? Nakayama Dye Workshop, a traditional dyeing and printing workshop


Where?  459 Isohama-cho, Oarai-machi, Higashiibaraki-gun, Ibaraki Prefecture 311-1301/茨城県東茨城郡大洗町磯浜町459



Located in central Oarai, Nakayama Dye Workshop uses traditional dyeing and screenprinting methods to make tairyoubata, flags used to celebrate a good catch or celebrate the launch of a new boat, and maiwai, a traditional outfit worn by fishermen. Nakayama's designs feature motifs like the turtle and boat filled with treasure which symbolise luck in Japanese culture and everything the workshop produces is made-to-order and hand-painted - it takes over a month to produce the parts of a flag ready to be sewn together. While tairyoubata are still used on special occasions such as weddings and New Year, maiwai are no longer used. 

With most printing and dyeing done by machine and less demand for traditional flags and maiwai, it can be hard for the workshop to find materials such as dyes and screens so nowadays Nakayama also produces hand towels, wall hangings and banners. If you're visiting Oarai on a sunny day, you can see freshly-dyed banners and towels drying outside the workshop. 


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