Amakusa Saraca Somemoto Nonoya




Sarasa is an Indian-originated pattern for dyeing and was brought to Amakusa by the Portuguese traders from India. The design became popular among the Japanese during the Edo period. It was used to introduce the history and culture of Amakusa. When the oppression of Christians rose in Amakusa, the people used Sarasa designs as a medium to secretly express their faith.


Sarasa design became a medium to some Christian refugees

who have been forced to hide their faith


Some of the products sold at the shop


The colors of Sarasa patterns are created using plant dyes. The most common designs of Sarasa are birds, plants, flowers, and nature. The Sarasa designs were applied to products like futon covers, pouches, and wrapping cloths.


Process of making a Sarasa design


This traditional design is a very rare find in Amakusa. In fact, the only one producing it in Amakusa is the owner of Nonoya Sarasa, who learned from the old residents of Amakasa at an early age. She was commissioned by the mayor of Amakusa to continue the Sarasa tradition and teach it to the younger generation.


Amakusa Saraca Somemoto Nonoya also serves as a cafe,

eat delicious dessert and have a refreshing drink while perusing the designs at the shop. 


Immerse yourself in the culture of Amakusa and learn how to make a Sarasa design! Price starts at ¥2,500. The shop is open from 11:30 am to 6:00 pm and is closed every Thursday.


Address: 2212-2 Saitsu-Kita, Amakusa-shi, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan