CONTRIBUTED BY KAHO
Kariyushi is a word made up of “kari” and “yushi” in Okinawan (Ryukyu) Dialect and means auspicious or happiness. Kari means lucky and yushi means come near. Kariyushi wear was named in a wish that wearing it will bring you fortune. Although I am Japanese, I didn’t know about this until I came to Okinawa.
Kariyushi wear is similar to Hawaiian shirts. They are to me an Okinawan version of Hawaiian shirts with Okinawa’s original prints. People in Okinawa wear Kariyushi wear mainly in summer as formal business wear instead of a dress shirt and a tie. It makes sense because if you have spent summer in Okinawa, you know why. Even women can understand that wearing a dress shirt and a tie is not bearable in summer here.
In 2005 as a part of a campaign, the former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi wore a kariyushi shirt from Cool Biz and the sales of the shirt went up.
You can find Kariyushi wear not only at special stores for the shirts, but also at JUSCO and San A in the men’s clothing section. My husband likes to the brand “MANGO HOUSE”. The two shirts in the photographs are both Mango’s Kariyushi shirts. There are several Mango stores on the island; two on Kokusai Streets, one in Onna Village and one in Oroku.
There are some very cool looking shirts. Some prints are kind of Japansey, but definitely with Okinawan flavor. There are men’s, women’s and even kid’s kariyushi wear. I have seen some bags made of the fabric used for kariyushi wear.