【 SHARIMBAI 】
(Botanical name: Raphiolepsis indica var. umbellata)
The Sharimbai that belongs to the rose family blooms tiny, white
flowers that grow densely in April in Amami. It is called "Techigi"
in Amami dialect. This tree is indispensable as dyestuff
for Oshima-Tsumugi. Chips of Sharimbai trunks are boiled
in a caldron and the material silk thread is dyed many times
in the Sharimbai liquid.
It is also popular as a garden plant, but the Amami people seem to
make use of native Sharimbai trees big enough to get dyeing chips
Seven or eight years ago, I traveled to Sydney, Australia. It was
the end of January. I was very much impressed to find flowering
Sharimbai trees on the grounds of the Sydney Opera House.
Sydney has to be midsummer in January, but I remember
feeling it was just like late spring in Amami.