Judging Your Sashiko

No more Judging Your Sashiko | Atsushi’s Message

I believe you have come to our website to look for the Sashiko Information. The Sashiko information you would like can be an advice on how to do Sashiko appropriately or what is the “right” way to do Sashiko Stitching. I have been receiving many questions regarding “How to do Sashiko”, and I am happy that I have been sharing what I do on Youtube, on this website, and SNS such as Instagram. The comment I made on Youtube Live Streaming on 5/2 was somewhat memorable, and here is my writing about what I truly would like to share throughout Sashiko. No more Judging your Sashiko, and No More Judging what you do.

 

Answers are Important, but no Judging Your Sashiko

I understand that the comprehensive direction (Answers to your questions) in crafting are very important information. Most of the questions start with either “Should I…” or “Is that okay…” for my answers. I try my best to explain what I share is merely an advise but not the answers. However, I also understand that the audience prefers the solid answers than freedom such as “you can do whatever you want.”

 

The website and Youtube videos are for you to find the answers to your questions instead of me giving you the solid answer full of my preferences. Once you get the solid answer, you will start judging your Sashiko with saying “This isn’t beautiful enough….” and “What am I doing wrong….”. The judging yourself is a very critical process to get better in most of the art and crafting. However, I sincerely would like to share that the Sashiko is a process of needlework with caring others, not the process of judging your Sashiko Stitching.

 

A machine does the perfect job. We are human, though

If I only would like to have the perfect Sashiko Stitchings, I may use a machine to make the completely even stitches. Some of the sewing machines have a computer programing built in it, so the result will be perfectly accurate. However, many people enjoy the hand-stitching Sashiko. Why? It is because that the people enjoy not only the result with human-like imperfection but also the process itself.

 

Since we enjoy the actual stitching, I would like you to focus on the caring part than the judging part. I understand that you cannot stop doing it, but I would like you to try that. Instead of judging how uneven the stitches are, I want you to just observe the stitching and move the next line or next project. The result will be great if you keep doing it with appreciating the process.

 

The process of Judging is based on the problem-solving society. It is very important to have a critical-thinking-skill to be “successful” in this society. The successful business person will analyze the situation, find the problem to be improved, then solve it. It is the necessary skill to have in business, but not in Sashiko.

Instead of trying to “fix” the problem, I want you to try “observe” it. In fact, I want you to “keep” observing it. One day, you find that not only your stitching but your mind are pretty well-ordered. This is the mindfulness of “Sashiko” and the “Slow-stitching” I call. The stitching itself doesn’t have to be slow. It is silly to just try to be slow on everything. I just want your right brain (very critical skill) to be slow a bit. At least, when you enjoy Sashiko.

 

When you seek answers, then you will not be mindful.

There isn’t much information you need in Sashiko. Most of them, I already provided in Youtube videos and here. You will find your own answers by being mindful, and that is the Sashiko I would like to develop from the history of Japanese and share in this world.

 

Grey in the middle of Black and White

Sashiko is(was) a very ordinary needlework for Japanese for the ordinary Japanese people. Therefore, culture of Sashiko is strongly related to the Japanese culture and philosophy. I would like to share many similarities of Sashiko and the Japanese culture.

The people in the 21st century, including myself, would like to categorize the “color” either black or white. After categorizing the difference, we tend to label them. In most cases, these categorization ends in dualism, pretty much “Right (Correct)” or “Wrong (Inaccurate)”.

The Japanese didn’t have the strong influence from the dualism. We believe in something in-between, so like “Grey”, to blur the conclusion. Although it isn’t the best attribute in terms of business, I find it very interesting in Sashiko stitching. Most of the questions regarding “Right Sashiko and Wrong Sashiko” comes from Western culture, not from the Japanese.

 

I am not saying you have to follow the Japanese philosophy. What I am trying to say here is that Sashiko is not only about stitching, but also the culture behind it. By introducing the Sashiko’s concept, I believe I can contribute to the Japanese culture, and it is the best thing I can do as a Japanese.

 

*I can think of many other interesting story of Sashiko & Japanese philosophy relationship. I will keep updating this entry. It will be a long one 😀

 

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