Ryukyu glass is a type of handmade glass craft distinct to the island of Okinawa, part of the Ryukyu island chain in Japan. It’s said to have originated around the time of the Meiji Era (late 1860s) but took on a unique turn after World War II.
After WWII there was a shortage of resources all across Japan. Okinawa, however, happened to be a site for a U.S. military base and there were a large number of distinctly colored glass bottles thrown out like Coca Cola and different types of beer and tonic water. These bottles were subsequently used by Okinawan glass makers to create their craft. The recycling process resulted in unique colors, as well as air bubbles, which eventually became known as part of the look-and-feel of Ryukyu Glass.
Designer Shizuka Tatsuno collaborated with the online shop YUIMARLU OKINAWA to take shards of Ryukyu Glass, melt them down and then create simple, geometric accessories that can be worn as earrings. Called Ryu Kyu Iro, or the color of Ryukyu, the serendipitous melting of glass created some stunning colors that are reminiscent of the beautiful nature that surrounds the island.