indigo Blue Ocean by Leki×Occy


Leki Nagahara and Okikazu Maeshiro (Occy), both graduates who excelled in the surfing club at JIU, are dedicated to creating natural indigo dyed artwork and promoting indigo dyeing culture in their respective hometowns of Tokushima and Okinawa.

Nagahara traveled to the United States, Australia and other countries to learn about the connection between surfing and the local community. After returning to Tokushima, he encountered Awa Ai (indigo dye) and felt a strong sense of connection between the blue of Awa Ai and the blue of the sky and sea in his hometown. This inspired him to create art that combines indigo, surfing and Kūkai (the Shikoku Pilgrimage) and engage in cultural outreach. Based at “in Between Blues” in Kaiyo-cho, he continues to work as an Awa Ai producer and an ambassador for the Ministry of the Environment, connecting people, things and experiences in Japan and abroad through indigo and the sea.

Maeshiro's grandfather was Kōsei Maeshiro, who helped revive Ryukyu textiles after World War II. Maeshiro trained under his father, Okishige, and continues to carry on the Ryukyu Bigasuri tradition, which encompasses every aspect from the cultivation of indigo plants to the making of dyes and the dyeing and weaving processes. In 2013, he became a wheelchair user due to illness and temporarily stepped away from dyeing and weaving. However, he later launched his original brand, BIGASURI, using Ryukyu Bigasuri cloth and leather. In 2017, he collaborated with a woodworker to develop a floor loom he could operate while in a wheelchair, allowing him to resume his dyeing and weaving work. His ongoing creation of art that depicts the scenery of the sky and sea and his determination to overcome obstacles and carry on the legacy and skills of his predecessors have garnered attention both domestically and internationally.

This exhibition introduces the works of these two artists and their activities. Please enjoy the various blue worlds created by indigo.

eki Nagahara, Kūkai

left: Leki Nagahara, Kūkai, 2016, collection of the Artist
right: Okikazu Maeshiro, Hanaikada, 2008, collection of the Artis

Okikazu Maeshiro, Hanaikada


Flyer Click


Awa Ai×Ryukyu Ai (indigo dye): Public talk by Leki Nagahara and Okikazu Maeshiro
10/7 sat 13:30~15:00
Admission: Free
Venue: Orientation Room (Library, 1F)
Reservation required : Tel.0475-53-25652 or Application form


Open: 10:00-16:00
Closed: Sundays and Mondays
Admission: Free
• By train: take either the JR Sotobo Line to Oami Station or the JR Sobu Main Line to Naruto Station; change trains and take the JR Togane Line; get off at Gumyo Station; 5 minute walk to the university.
• By car: take either the Keiyo Highway or the Tateyama Expressway to the Chiba-higashi Junction; from there, enter the Togane Toll Road; exit at Togane and take National Highway (Route) 126 in the direction of Naruto for about 20 minutes; at the signal at Josai International University Mae, turn right.
*The school parking lot is available.
• Shuttle bus service: see here

Mizuta Museum of Art, Josai International University
1 Gumyō, Tōgane-shi, Chiba 283-8555, Japan
Tel. 0475-53-2562

Web design by Sora Oshito senior in the Faculty of Media Studies

(C)2023 Mizuta Museum of Art, Josai International University all rights reserved.