August 12, 2021 at 10:53AM

I know the word “Cultural Appropriation” bothers some people. However, there is “pain” over their uncomfortableness. C/A can be avoided by learning & imagining, yet people with privilege choose not to do so. Therefore, it became an issue. It is not us who made C/A as the issue, it is them. 

“Let’s embrace the imperfection in Sashiko”. “The core of Boro is using whatever we have (so we should enjoy it without caring for the C/A)”. These are very painful phrases to me: not anger, deep fear and sadness. I have spent so much time with many Sashiko practitioners, who never considered themselves Artist, or even Artisans. They make “perfect” Sashiko after 60+ years of experience, yet they always try to be better. They all admitted that the hand-stitching will not be “perfect”, but none of them embraced the imperfection: They worked hard to get better for their entire life. 

It is true that Boro is an outcome of limited resources. Therefore, for those who can choose, the sustainability of no-waste with expressing their “art” can be a good word adaptation as Boro, saying visible mending. This isn’t wrong, but it is missing an important part of culture. And ignoring (not trying to imagine) the voices is the form of C/A. Everyone has their opinion, and I respect it. However, are they happy with their opinion knowing it exists over someone’s pain? My message is simple. If one isn’t comfortable with “the Japanese ordinary (common sense)”, then the understanding of Sashiko/Boro is most likely insufficient. Therefore, keep learning. When one decides to ignore it because it is inconvenient or uncomfortable, then it become the issue of Cultural Appropriation. 



#Sashiko #JapaneseSashiko #刺し子 #日本の刺し子


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