Updated at 2022-03-25
Okinawa glassware can be said to be one of the earliest models for a circular economy. After WWII, Okinawa became a territory of the United States. Bottled products, such as Coca-Cola and wine, were exported en masse to the island. The locals collected, melted, and repurposed the glass waste into wine glasses, which the American soldiers took home with them as souvenirs. When glass is remelted, impurities and air bubbles are introduced, creating a unique puffy and rough, yet welcoming texture. Ryukyu glass craftsmanship was recognized as a traditional craft in Okinawa Prefecture in 1998.
Area: 2,280.98 square kilometers
Population: Approx. 1,459,835
Main industries: Tourism, service, agriculture, fisheries