August 12, 2021 at 12:54PM

Many many years ago, you may have mended your jeans. After 40~50 years have passed, you learn there is the word “Boro” for that. You didn’t know that there was a name for what you did. Well. Boro is a foreign word for you, so what you did may be Boro or may not. Instead of framing what you did into the current trend & wording, please be proud of what you actually did. Why isn’t just “mending jeans” enough? Why do you have to use the word “Boro”?

I am NOT saying you shouldn’t use the word Boro. I just want you to know that the word Boro carries more than “mending whatever”. Since what you did 50 years ago wasn’t in Japan, it may be the same, or maybe different. It is, of course, “mending” for sure, but Boro? We don’t know. Therefore, please be “careful” and try to learn what “Boro” may be for one group of people: like me.

I say this outloud because there is another group of people who use “Boro” (or Sashiko) for other purposes rather than just referring to the practice you did. It can be for “money making”, “admiration”, “recognition as the Artist”, and “validation”. It is okay when they “try” to learn what Boro means… but when they say, “I don’t care. Leave me alone (but I will keep calling it Boro)” is the form of Cultural Appropriation causing a lot of pain. 

Please be proud of your own culture. You do not need to name what you did from the foreign culture, so I am proud of my own culture of Sashiko & Boro. If you are interested in the Japanese culture, mindset, philosophy, and practice of Sashiko & Boro, then you will probably choose to keep learning. I welcome you here, and this account is for sharing something that Western people have not shared yet (due to ignorance, discomfort, or inconvenience). 

I am posting this because I had to work on huge emotional labor this morning toward the ignorant comment saying “Word doesn’t matter so stop whining”. (It was on a FB group – not mine) The word and name matter to me. I am learning, though, how C/A can happen.


#Sashiko #JapaneseSashiko #JapaneseBoro #刺し子 #ぼろ #襤褸


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.