Rebun Island’s Miura hopes sundries made from driftwood and glass will “trigger interest in environmental issues”

Miura and her daughter Haru with the keyrings and the like made from driftwood and sea glass

Materials washed-up on a beach on Rebun, a remote island in northern Hokkaido, are being turned into stylish sundries. Miura Megumi, a native of Sapporo and resident of Rebun Island, handcrafts miscellaneous goods such as keyrings and the like, using driftwood and pieces sea glass rounded by the waves. She sells her products at her store and online, and says, “I hope that many people will rediscover the value of flotsam through my work.”
“I want people to feel free to wear and carry driftwood and look back on their memories of the island,” says Miura of the keyrings made from driftwood. The driftwood is cut into rings of approximately 5 cm in diameter, onto which illustrations of Rishiri-fuji (Mt. Rishiri) and the flowers and plants of Rebun Island are burnt. In the center, a clear green piece of sea glass or agate rock is embedded, creating a unique product.
Miura moved to Rebun in 2017. She had always enjoyed walking along the beach, and when she visited the Rebun coast, she was “surprised by the amount of driftwood and plastic trash that had washed ashore, especially in early spring.” She began picking up and collecting the things that took her fancy, and goes out to look for flotsam on the beach with her eldest son Kosuke (4) and daughter Haru (5 months).
In June of last year, Miura rented a vacant store in front of Menou Beach on the southwest side of the island, and opened it for a limited period under the name ‘5R Store.’ The ‘5R’ stands for the four R’s of recycling, reuse, and other English words that help reduce waste, and the R of ‘Rebun Products’.
The shop introduces its goods via Instagram and is visited by locals and tourists that visit after seeing the posts. “I am happy when people say my work is beautiful. I hope it will also trigger interest in environmental issues,” says Miura. The store will be open irregularly between June and around autumn, and will also sell kelp and postcards.
Inquiries and orders are accepted via direct message on Instagram.

Flotsam washed up on the beach in Rebun Island (photo courtesy of Ms. Miura)


Menou Beach