Giant Japanese Dragon Sculpture Made From Palm Tree Leaves and Wood

Straw Japanese Dragon Sculpture by Ayako

In Uruma, a city located in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, there’s an annual arts festival called The Shimadakara (meaning “island treasure”) that celebrates the artists and crafters of Japan’s southern islands. Each year, people showcase their talents by creating works that are often made from natural materials found in their local environment. One creation in particular stood out during this year’s festivities—a huge dragon sculpture crafted by Japanese artist and designer Ayako.

Titled Ryu Miyagi, the giant sculpture is made from wood and straw sourced from Chinese fan palm. The massive mythical beast is posed to appear as though it’s peering through the window of a small village home. For this impressive piece, the artist has taken inspiration from Ryūgū-jō, an undersea palace from Japanese folklore that's ruled by Ryujin (the dragon kami of the sea).

An Okinawa local known as Shiromadara (@oogomadara) recently posted images of the striking sculpture on Twitter, revealing how incredibly detailed it really is. Featuring braided vines and dried palm leaves, as well as hand-carved wooden teeth, it looks like it could come to life at any moment. In fact, when the wind blows, the natural elements become animated and create the illusion of motion, as though the dragon is actually floating in mid air.

You can find out much more about The Shimadakara arts festival on their website.

This incredible Japanese dragon sculpture was created by artist Ayako for The Shimadakara arts festival in Okinawa.

Straw Japanese Dragon Sculpture by Ayako

It’s hand-crafted from wood and straw sourced from Chinese fan palm.

Straw Japanese Dragon Sculpture by Ayako


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A post shared by うるまシマダカラ芸術祭 (@uruma.shimadakara) on

h/t: [Design You Trust]

All images via shiromadara.

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Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.
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