Sashiko Itokiri Cover

Sashiko Itokiri |A process after Sashiko stitching

In the Sashiko we practice, we sometimes use the both side of fabric as the finished side (both sides finished beautifully as a single layer). In order to make it happen, Sashiko Itokiri (糸切り) is an important process of cleaning the thread leftover by clipping them.


Sashi.Co Youtube Channel https://www.youtube.com/c/sashico


Script of Sashiko Itokiri Video.

Please find the script for Sashiko Itokiri video below just in case you have hard time understanding my English. Enjoy Sashiko!


Hello.

Thank you for watching Sashi.Co Channel.This is Atsushi.

In this video, I am going to talk about a process of cleaning the thread leftover after completing the Sashiko stitching, so called “Itokiri” in Japanese.

As you may have learned already, the Sashiko we practice originally use the both side of fabric as the finished side. Therefore, we do not make knots to secure the stitching. Instead of the knots, we make overlay stitching. For more information of this topic, Please check another video titled “How to not to make a knot in Sashiko”.

After completing the Sashiko stitching, we end up with having a lot of thread tales on the back side of fabric. To complete the project, we clean the side by cutting the thread leftover, and it is called “Itokiri”. You may cut anywhere you made overlay stitches. Do not cut the tale or loop if no overlay stitches are made.

In order to do a good Itokiri process, a grip scissor is the must have item.

I made another video explaining how to use the grip scissors. Please find the video for more information.



Here, a quick review of what is a grip scissor and how to use them.

When we clip the thread, we use the tip of blades instead of the middle (or body) of the blades. By gripping the scissors, I feel as if the tip of blades become my finger tips. I sometime wish that I could just pinch and clip the thread leftover with my nails. The grip scissors are a good substitute to having the super sharp knife like nails.  

Since the grip scissors do not require a process of opening the blades, we can keep cutting the thread in a reasonable speed. When a master working on a plain fabric, the speed of Itokiri can be something fun to watch by itself.


That’s pretty much about Itokiri.

Another enjoyable part of Itokiri is the sounds of clipping the thread & moving the blades. I needed to mute the sound because I kept talking in Japanese when I was filming this, but you can watch the unedited version, the archive of this live streaming (3/26 Insta Live.)

Enjoy Itokiri in Silence & Enjoy Sashiko.


Grip scissors available in our store

We have grip scissors selection from a long-established Japanese scissors maker, Misuzu. Everything is made in Japan by the professionals. Although we have the entry model (less than $15.00), I strongly recommend getting the better one, possible the one more than $25.00, if not around $20.00. The difference in using (experience) is not subtle.


The Jacket I worked on this video

Sashiko Needle Eye

Sashiko Needle Eye | Reason of the best needle

A good needle for Sashiko can make a significant difference in Sashiko stitching. One of the factors we need to be attentive is the size of Sashiko Needle Eye. There is a reason why we use only 2 kinds of needles (Both the same length, a slightly different Sashiko Needle Eye size, and from different manufacture). Even for a minor topic like this, Sashiko Needle Eye, we have a lot to share.


I received an honest feedback from a customer:

“I expected the ‘big eye’ needle to have a larger eye than the first ones I ordered, so I am disappointed with those”

I feel sorry when I hear that the customer experience the disappointment. For this case, it happened because I didn’t explain (or clarify) well enough on the product page the reason why we have the needle with the small eye.

Sashiko Needle Eye Customer Feedback

Sashiko Needle to do Sashiko

The fundamental purpose of Sashiko is(was) to repair, mend, and strengthening the fabric. Over time, the Japanese enjoyed Sashiko for the decorative purpose, but they also practiced Sashiko for the purpose of making the fabric “better” – thicker, warmer, and stronger.

A needle with a large eye will reduce the stress of threading the needle. However, the bigger the size of thread is, the more risk we have in damaging the fabric. The impact to the fabric may be insignificant for a few times, but over time, Sashiko could damage the fabric instead of making it better. It may not be significant when we work on the strong fabric, like the new fabric. However, when we work on the vintage fabric, the size of Sashiko Needle Eye can be critical.

Therefore, the Sashiko Needle eye has to be as similar thickness as possible to the body, as straight as possible from the tip to the end.


To ordinary for me to explain.

Since we have been using the Sashiko needle for more than a couple of decades, we don’t have much trouble of threading the needle. It was too ordinary for me to mention about the necessity of the size of Sashiko needle eye until I get the feedback. When I wrote the article about the Sashiko needle we use, I didn’t emphasis enough to educate our customers (I mentioned about the importance of the Sashiko needle eye, of course.)


Sashiko Needle Recommendation

We recommend two very similar Sashiko needle from 2 different manufactures. One is offered from Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya, and another is from Tulip Needle. Both of them are in super high quality. I don’t think I can do Sashiko with other needles. Although the both Sashiko needle eye are small in comparison to the other needle in the market, the majority of Sashiko thread (All of the Sashiko thread we offer) can be threaded smoothly. It may require some experience and technique, but it is doable. I mean, I thread the needle every day & in every live streaming, so you can do it.

Sashiko Needle Eye Close

*It is perfectly fine to use a threader, of course.


The Sashiko needle Atsushi uses

I personally prefer this needle. So, when you see the needle on my Live streaming or other video on Youtube, this is the needle on the picture.

A super sharp needle tip with the flexible body with 51.5 mm length is the must-have item for our Sashiko projects.


Big Eye Straight from Tulip Needle

Another great, supreme quality needle is manufactured by the long-established needle company, called Tulip. To serve the purpose of “the Sashiko needle eye as the similar thickness as the needle body”, this is the best needle.

Please find the details in the separate article.

Although it says “Big Eye”, the difference of the Sashiko Needle Eye between these 2 kinds are very insignificant. This is because we needed to keep the needle size as 51.5 mm as well as as similar thickness as through the main to the end of the needle.

I imagine, the Tulip company named the needle, “Big Eye Straight” in comparison to the other needle they manufacture. This is a part of explanation I didn’t clarify enough. It is not “Big Eye” in comparison among our product selection.


No needle is wrong

Above said, you can use any needle you prefer. We just use the needle we enjoy the most & for the best possible outcome.

We have a good proverb for a master and his tool.

弘法は筆を選ばない | Kobo ha Fude wo Erabanai = A good workman does not blame his tools. It is true statement, but if a good workman has a choise of getting his favorite tool, I believe he would choose the one he enjoy the most.

What we share is merely our preference & selection based on our experience & wisdom. Please do not take as a “rule” or something you need to follow enjoy Sashiko.


However… a good needle will change your Sashiko experience, and you may never return to the other needles for your Sashiko project… Enjoy Sashiko!

Sashiko Workshop April 2019 Cover

Sashiko Workshop April 2019 in NYC

I am happy to announce that we finalize the Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic) opportunity in this coming Spring. Sashiko Workshop April 2019, in NYC TriBeCa Neighborhood, is coming available. In comparison to 2018, we will offer less in-person Sashiko workshops in 2019. We have only 10 seats left (as of March 25th) for the Sashiko Workshop April 2019.

It would be great to meet you there in Spring.

In-person | Meet Atsushi and learn from.

The workshop I offer in the weekend of April 13th and 14th is Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic), which I request everyone to go through before any of my offers including the other Sashiko Workshops & Online subscriptions.

Although we started offering the Online Sashiko Class, I still believe the best way to deliver our experience & technique is to have the time together in person. If you live nearby NYC where you may be able to make a small trip, please consider taking this workshop. I had offered more than 20 workshops in 2017 & 2018, and I am confident that I can deliver the “eye-opening” experience in the Sashiko we practice.

Please check the articles below to understand why I keep offering the Sashiko Stitching workshop to share the Sashiko we practice.

Workshop is developed with Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya

We plan to offer 3 time-slots for the same Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic). The exact location will be notified to the participants after the registration.

Purchase your seat for Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic)

We try our best to keep the workshop size as small as possible so that everyone will get enough time to talk to Atsushi & reviewed by Atsushi. Everyone has each habit in stitching. Therefore, the personal attention in the in-person workshop is necessary to share the new “muscle memory” to maximize the following Sashiko experience.

Availability of Sashiko Workshop April 2019

  • April 13th, Saturday, 10 am to around 1:15 pm for 3 hours + α | SOLD OUT. Thank you.

or

  • April 13th, Saturday, 2:30 pm to around 5:45 pm for 3 hours + α | ◎

or

  • April 14th, Sunday, 2 pm to around 5:15 pm for 3 hours + α | ◎

☆= 1 seat left

★= 2 seats left

◎= Still available

*Please be advised that the price for the Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic) may be increased soon due to the increase of the Location Fee. Thanks to the patron in NYC, we had been offering a reasonable workshop fee in Manhattan. Because of the policy change, we will probably need to increase the fee in the future. For the support we have been receiving, please check the article below.


You can also check the other opportunities for Sashiko Workshops by Atsushi & Upcycle Stitches.

Hope to meet you in NYC for the wonderful Sashiko experience.


Videos of introducing the Sashiko Workshop (in Past)


Continuous Sashiko Learning

Continuous Sashiko Learning Opportunity

This is follow-up information for the former participants of Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core and Basic) provided by Atsushi. If you receive the information about Online Sashiko Class and would like to participates after taking one of Atsushi’s Workshops in NYC (more than 3 hours length workshop), please check this page. For others, in order to fully enjoy the continuous Sashiko learning opportunity, please consider taking one of our Sashiko Stitching Workshop to fulfill the requirement.

In order to fully enjoy the continuous Sashiko learning opportunity, please consider taking one of our Sashiko Stitching Workshop to fulfill the requirement.


Continuous Sashiko Learning Opportunity

We have started sharing the culture & technique of the Sashiko we practice in 2017 in Sashiko workshop & class. Ever since, my goal is the same, to share the enjoyment of Sashiko. In order to achieve it, offering the continuous Sashiko Learning Opportunity was one of the must contents I wanted to come up with – like subscription kit.

I prioritized The Online Sashiko Class because the subscription ideas & the continuous Sashiko Learning opportunity requires the prerequisite. I want everyone to understand the core & basic of Sashiko when they take the subscription to continuously offer the free support in Sashiko technique for those who took the Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic). I wanted to be fair for those who do not live in the East Coast of the USA. After the online Sashiko Class, I can offer the fair opportunity for everyone.


Please understand any offering in this article have the prerequisite. This is the opportunity for those who took Atsushi’s Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic), which is at least 3 hours in either PA, NJ, NY or any other location or Online (either Live-style or On-demand.) Please register with the email address you have used to take the Sashiko Stitching Workshop.


Online Sashiko Class for former students.

Starting March 2019, I offer the Online Sashiko Class with On-Demand videos that the participants can watch anytime anywhere to learn Sashiko, with following the live-session to check what they learned.

The contents I cover in the Online Sashiko Class is very similar to what you have learned in the Sashiko Stitching Workshop (in NYC or in Livestitching). Therefore, I feel uneasy asking for the full price (even after the discount). Since you already have learned the technique and culture, assuming you do not need much support, I decided to offer “A year access to the On-Demand” Videos for a lot small amount of the fee when you agree to give me some feedback.

*Please read the article about the terms and condition for learning in Online Sashiko Class here.

Pricing for the Sashiko Workshop Graduate.

*Price is subject to change. Until I make a shopping page, please contact me directly to get access & support.

  • Access License to the Video (Yearly): $25.00
  • Materials for the Online Sashiko Class: $60.00
  • Online Live-Session Ticket (30 min to 120 min): $25.00

*Prices are the subject to change.


Sashiko Subscription Kit

This is another big resolution for the year of 2019: Sashiko subscription Package.

Atsushi will send a good weekend project amount of Sashiko every month. The follow-up videos will be available for the subscriber. In order to learn the technique and wisdom throughout, we strongly recommend taking in order of we assign.

Here is some example of Subscription Kit that I am thinking of. The pricing will be somewhere $30.00 ~$75.00 per month depends on the materials I would need to send. I will make like a year-round package as well.

“Japanese Geometric Pattern Package

  • Full Subscription (6 month amount):
  • Part of Subscription (3 month amount):

Contents: The package will have one Sashiko thread and a piece of fabric, and necessary tool to learn how to complete the subscription.

  1. Shippou – the Curve (Preparing) :
  2. Hishi Seigaiha – the Jump (Preparing) :

“Applying Sashiko” Package (Preparing)

  1. Draw on your denim (Preparing)
  2. Patch the damage with Sashiko (Preparing
  3. Boro-inspired patchwork (Preparing)

Please wait for another update for the Sashiko Subscription Kit. Your request and preference would be awesome to develop the subscription program.

Sashiko Online Workshop Cover

Sashiko Online Class | Anywhere Anytime.

Finally. I am very happy to start offering the Sashiko Online Workshop throughout On-Deman videos on our Vimeo page. In order to avoid any unfortunate misunderstandings each other, please read carefully this “Sashiko Online Workshop Terms and Conditions” before signing up here.


What is Included in Sashiko Online Class

Online Videos to Learn Sashiko

Sashiko Online Class (Core and Basic)

  • Section.1: Sashiko Lecture about history and wisdom (about 30 minutes duration. Lecture style)
  • Section.2: Stitching Lecture about the core of Sashiko (about 30 minutes duration. First, watch the video through, then move hands with watching it for the second time.)
  • Section.3: Sashiko Lecture about how to maximize the Sashiko experience (about

*I have to admit that the video filming and editing isn’t my strength. You will have unlimited access to those videos for a year, and I will keep updating the video as necessary. If you have any questions, please feel free to share so I can improve the videos.

This is the online version of the Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic). I still feel it is better to teach in person, but NYC isn’t the best place for everyone. The contents are very similar to the one in NYC.

Some of the topics, such as “how to apply Sashiko stitching to visible mending” or “how to stitch the certain patterns” are not included in this Sashiko Online Class. I have a plan to offer them as a subscription program. When it happens, this Sashiko Online Class (Core and Basic) will be the prerequisite to any of the workshops I offer.

**If it is extremely difficult to join the Online Session, I also understand that. In that case, the participant can send me a video of him/her stitching as I introduced in the workshop. The person has a year to join the Online session or to send me a video for checking. I am afraid but the prerequisite will not be effective until Atsushi actually confirm the stitching the way the participant does.


Materials to learn Sashiko with

  • Indigo dyed cotton fabric with Asano-ha pattern printed on.
  • Fabrics to make a tote bag (Lining and Interfacing)
  • Swatches to practice the needle movement
  • A skein of Sashiko Thread #12 – White
  • A package of Sashiko needles (3) and the Thimble
  • Sashiko Thread Bobbin Paper
  • A chalk pencil to enforce the pattern
  • PDF data of extra Japanese Traditional patterns

*If you have purchased the set of Sashiko needle and thimble, I will refund the amount as a store credit so you can purchase something in future or in the same order. Please contact me with the order number (If your purchase was from Amazon store or Etsy store, I will refund the amount after subtracting the fee for Amazon and Etsy). The same rules apply to the PDF data, if you have purchased them before. If you have purchased the #12 thread before, and would like to have the other color, please contact me as well. You may choose the other color from 15 colors collection, or other natural dye sashiko thread with the additional fee.

Support for your learning experience

  • I will be available for any questions over e-mail. If I cannot answer it over the email, I will make a video to clear your concern.
  • Unlimited access to the videos to learn Sashiko Online for a year starting from the day you receive the package.
  • For joining the section.3, 1 ticket to the Online Live-style Sashiko gathering to clear up all the questions and confirming what you learned through video.

The preparation requirement on Participant side

Please prepare the items on the list below. The tools and items below are NOT included in the Online Sashiko Class materials.

  • Fabric Scissor (or good fine scissor to cut the skein of the thread) – You may purchase one from me here.
  • Thread Clipper (A scissor above would be acceptable, but it is a good idea to have the thread clipper for better result) – You may purchase one from me here (*strongly getting the high end, like above $20).
  • Scotch Tape – Any tape is fine. We use it to secure the thread together
  • Threader – I will explain how to thread the needle, but a threader may help for the first few times.
  • Masking Tape or Vynil Tape to protect your finger nail from scratching.

*Please expect the email describing what kind of preparation we need for the Live-Style Workshop. It isn’t much, but you would need a smartphone (or a PC) and a stand (or a tripod).


A limit numbers for the sign ups

Although the most part of the Sashiko Online Class is done by you watching the recorded videos, I set the limit numbers for the sign-ups for a period of time so I can be fully supportive to the participants.

The Sashiko Online Class completes when the participants join one of the online meetings where Atsushi will confirm the hand-stitching he/she performs & answer questions. Therefore, we would like to keep the numbers as comfortably manageable. The Sashiko Online Class is the hybrid of Video Lectures (on Vimeo) as well as the Live-Style workshop.

Anyone can sign-up for the Sashiko Online Class. If you find the registration page available (in-stock), you are welcomed to purchase your spot. I also have a waiting list for those who supported (waited) me to make this Sashiko Online Class happen. If you don’t mind waiting for them, you will receive a big discount on the workshop. If you do not mind paying the full price of $290.00, and happen to find the spot open, you are welcome to jooin.

If you wish to be on the waiting list and get the discount, please answer the form here, to help us understand your preference. I will send the invitation accordingly.


Videos are strictly for the participants

Please respect these terms and condition of all the Sashiko online class materials. It is, of course, for the copyright we hold for the contents we make. It took so much effort to come up.

I am not only talking about compensation for us. Spreading the videos to the ocean of the Internet is so scary because the video can cause misunderstandings without the proper explanation. I decided to offer the Sashiko Online Class by overcoming the fear of making it on-demand Videos. The reason I could overcome the fear was the trust to the others. Your understanding to my situation would be very much appreciated.


As I mentioned above, the Sashiko online class complete when Atsushi checks the Unshin (運針)and answers all the questions about Sashiko stitching. It is the support and follow-up that makes difference. I learned that the video itself will not teach the core of Sashiko stitching 100%, and it is very important that I will meet you over the Internet.

If this video goes to public, we won’t be able to follow-up all the audiences. People will watch what they want, and they will understand Sashiko as they want. It will not achieve the goal I set for the Sashiko Online Class.

We sincerely appreciate your understandin. Please do not share the passwords to watch the video because those who just watch the video will not receive the follow-up session from me. Someone misunderstanding what I really would like to share by watching the “free” video is the last thing I would like to experience throughout this new challenge.I know the people who read this terms and condition will not do something against our will. However, I want you to be extra careful when you handle the password.


How the Lecture videos Work

By agreeing and paying the fee, I will add you to the Sashiko Online Class mailing list (or a Group-chat App). Your access to the On-Deman videos is valid for a year. Within the year, you can watch the videos of Sashiko Online Class (core & basic) as many time as you need.

I know I am not good at filming the video. Therefore, I plan to update the videos every once a while, and as necessary. Every month, I will send you the new password every month to secure the community. So please make sure that you have your email address available for the Google Group email. The access for the videos can be extended for the extra fee (significantly small fee in comparison to the first registration fee because you know it already.)

The Password will be on the package slit for the first time access. After that, I will update the password by sending the notification via email.

You also receive 1 ticket to join the Online Sashiko gathering, where you can ask any questions. I will also make sure that you learned everything I introduced by checking your hand-posture and stitching. You may receive the 2nd ticket if I find any problems or concerns that need to be resolved. This Online Sashiko gathering will take about 30 minutes to upto 120 minutes, depends on the person’s level of understanding.

Don’t worry. My goal is to help you to master the Sashiko stitching.

*You may purchase the 3rd or 4th ticket to join the Online Sashiko gathering for the extra fee. Please let me know if you are interested. I haven’t come up with the pricing. Ideally, I hope that the videos and one-time live-style workshop are good enough so you won’t need an extra ticket. Watching my live-streaming would be just enough to make sure you are doing appropriately.


Discount Coupon for Sashiko Online Class

I would like to provide some discount for those who have been supporting me and waiting for me to make this Sashiko Online Class happen. I will send you the personal invitation to those who filled the questionnaire regarding Sashiko Online Class in the order of receiving the answers (First-come, first receive the email from me.) In order to be on the list, simply go to the link above and fill out the form. It will express your caring to others who have been waiting for the Online Workshop.

When the time comes, please look for the email from Atsushi (sashikoatsushi @ gmail.com) saying “Sashiko Online Class – Thank you for waiting“. I will mention the coupon code in the invitation email.

Extra discount for being a “Trial” Student.

I provide a bigger discount if you would agree to be a “Trial” Sashiko Online Class student. The trial students will get “everything” as the normal participants do. The only difference is your understanding & a bit of time to help me out in improving the Online Sashiko Class. I am planning to update the video as often as I can, and as necessary as it happens. Your feedback and continuous support would be an asset for me.

The total discount is $139.00. So the actual workshop price will be $151.00 after discount.

*I am releasing this without confirming it is “perfect.” As much as I would like to publish the perfect version, I figured it is better to be on-time rather than being perfect. The Sashiko Online Class will be perfect after receiving your help.

Agreement for the discount.

By choosing the ‘Trial student discount”, we will consider that you agree with the condition below.

  • After you complete your workshop at your pace, please leave the review on this registration page. (within a year)
  • I plan to introduce how the workshop can be used for participants. Please provide me some photos that you may take during or after the workshop.
  • Understand that Atsushi makes mistakes (and probably a lot of typos). So your forgiveness for the errors and allowance for me to fix it.
  • Spread the words as much as you can.

It isn’t crazy amount to ask, I hope.


Sashiko Online Class 2

Terms and Conditions for Sashiko Online Class

  • All the participants of the Sashiko Online Class read this article & registration carefully and agree with the contents.
  • No images or videos is allowed to be shared online or with others unless the person has written permission (email) from Atsushi and Upcycle Stitches LLC.
  • All contents throughout the Sashiko Online Class is protected by copyright to Upcycle Stitches LLC
  • All purchase is final, and there is no refund avaialble unless Atsushi made a fatal mistake in his explanation.

Cancel and Refund Policy

Since this workshop includes a lot of materials delivered to you prior to the actual workshop, we do not accept the cancellation and refund after the package is shipped out. The subscription will start the day you receive the package from us.

You may reschedule the Online Sashiko Class “Live Style” to check up your progress, but please respect us and the others who join the workshop on the same day. So please let me know as soon as possible. In extreme case scenario, I will accept the reschedule of the appointment, but please be reasonable for that.

I am afraid to share this, but there is a slight possibility of me canceling the Live Style check up as well (I am still a homemaker for my family). I will let you know as soon as I find out, and I will of course reschedule you to the other time frame.

Your understanding and cooperation would be very much appreciated.

I am looking forward to meeting you!!

More Caring Society

To more Caring Society | therefore Sashiko

This article is more like my (Atsushi’s) personal note – may be unrelated to Sashiko. However, I wanted to share my feeling, ultimately to share what the Sashiko we like is – to Caring Society.

While I was writing the article about “asking for the support in Sustainable Sashiko Community“, I realize that I was contradicting in myself. I saw a big gap between “What I hope” and “what I do”. So, this is my penitence to the past and declaration toward the future: To make and live in “More Caring Society”.

more Caring Society main
A hand to more Caring Society

When did we start expecting SO MUCH

I admit that I sometime became a monster-like customer.

When I received an item lightly damaged, I contacted Amazon right away to ask for the “replacement” the next day since I was planning to gift it on the same day. The Amazon is nice (well-organized or big) enough to accommodate the request. But… come to think of it, it is so much to ask for covering an unfortunate event by asking the next day delivery for free. (I hope) no one didn’t mean to damage it. The accident could happen. After all, I should have prepared the gift a lot before the party.

When my Apple mouse started moving strangely under the AppleCare+ term, I contacted them as if it is their responsibility to “fix” it right away. (I have to admit that I was very frustrated because I needed to work on the sensitive photoshop work). I told them my frustration, and I was probably not nice at all. For some reasons, I expected them to fix it, otherwise compensate me for the “uncaused” damages by them (like the hours I had to talk to them when I am super in hurry.)


Probably, I did more of those “crazy” monster-like behaviors to the customer supports. I don’t even remember, and it scares me even more. When did we (or only I?) became so much perfect to expect more from the others?

Yes. It is a customer’s right to demand the item he/she orders in the perfect condition. It is also the company’s responsibility to deliver the item as they promise. Since there is a financial transaction in the order process, the company should deliver what they promise and the customer should get what they paid for.

However, do we really believe that everyone is supposed to be that perfect? If the company (seller) describe the item description accurately, and receive the item (with customer’s misunderstanding), would it be the seller’s responsibility?

You may say it is crazy, but in this e-commerce world, the customer has more power since they have power to leave the review. For a seller operates business online, the reviews are the powerful (and therefore critical) influence to their activities. In order to have better review, the seller provide more service than they are responsible, and the result, we start expecting more and more as the customer.


It isn’t about who is right and wrong

I am not talking about being a monster-like customer is the wrong thing. It is a result of everyone’s choice. The seller wanted to please the customer “no matter what”, and the customer chooses the seller which accommodate everything they expect. So, the seller made this culture of “high-standard customer service.” However, I would like to share a bit of trick behind.

Before the Internet, in order to sell an item, the seller needed to know about the items so they can provide the follow-up. In a store, the seller would advise or talk about the items, then the customer purchases them with good understandings. My family in Gifu Prefecture operates shops to sell pretty much everything about Sashiko. We are the seller, and we are also the Sashiko professionals who have good experience in Sashiko & related field. The customer respected it and trusted our advice. We did our best to meet (& exceed) customer’s expectation. The business was as simpl as that.

After the Internet, a lot of “good-trusted ritual” was (about to) wiped away by the convenience. Anyone can sell pretty much anything now (unless it requires the license). For that condition, the more capital the seller (company) have, the better the customer service & pricing they can provide. Of course, we as the customer become so demanding because we can just talk to the “employees” who aren’t even the sellers himself/herself. (I respect those customer center’s job. I don’t know if I can do that.)

Book stores would be one example of this social shift. I live in the Central PA, and we are fortunate to have the local bookstore – Otto bookstore. The movement of “Support Local” would be our natural reaction to this convenience. We as customer also need to pay attention who are the seller, if the seller are the one who have missions rather than making money.


At some point, I believe, the buyers should start thinking of “customer ethic” and the seller should start “being proud of what they provide” instead of focusing on their “convenient” customer service. I may be wrong, but I feel it is too much negativity on Internet regarding the shopping (because many people leave the negative feedback when they are disappointed – not many people leave the positive review when they receive what they expected, which is a superb thing). I think I can say that because I am also a customer.


There are human behind the monitor

We can make such a scary monster-like demand because we kind of forget that they are human (like us) behind the monitor or over the phone. A consequence by behaving with hostility won’t hurt us because the person is not in front of us. Would we do that when we have them in front of us? At the same time, we don’t leave positive feedback because there is no incentive us to do so.

Hey, when did we become so shallow?

I share the culture of Sashiko. The more I share this Japanese hand-stitching culture, the more I learn how we, as human being, were before the Internet. I love Internet. I cannot live without it. However, it doesn’t mean that we should give up the caring society over the convenience.


“Speed”

“Problem Solving”

and therefore we need,

“Innovation”


Yes. We need it to be speedy, solving the problems, and therefore innovative. However, I will let the other to take care of it. I will focus on the other side of humanity.

“Care”

“Self-Acceptance (Less Judging)”

and therefore we will appreciate

“The moment (mindfulness)”


I decided to marry my wife when she told me one phrase. “I love who you are, not what you do.”

It is very difficult to have “unconditional love” to the others, even to the family or someone very close to you. However, when we can care and respect “another human” who we come across, the world may be a bit better place to enjoy.

Sashiko is only a simple form of stitching. However, in a process of stitching for hours of times, we “remember” who we are. In stitching, the stitcher talks to oneself. No googling for the answer continuously, or no comparing oneself over Facebook. It is a quiet time to enjoy feeling who you are.

We welcome anyone to be part of this stitching. I am here for that and the reason I am translating everything I have in my mind in form of wisdom.