February 25, 2024 at 08:50PM

Believe it or not, I am an introvert. I am too shy to talk to someone whom I don’t know well… so I apologize for “just eye-contact & smile” when you found me in QuiltCon. It is true me on the stage for lectures or right next students in the workshop… but, from “natural standing point”, I still prefer stitching over going out for drinks with many people (unless they are okay with me bringing the stitching materials there).

Although I am not a dedicated quilter, QuiltCon has been like a home to me. Thanks to many Quilt Heros (in my mind), I got many chances to introduce myself. If you came to this Instagram Account recently, and you aren’t sure about what Sashiko is, please consider taking the “Introduction to Japanese Sashiko Stitching” Course on Domestika. Link is this: https://ift.tt/miQkL4v

Unfortunately, Sashiko introduced in English is simplified & romanticized. Therefore, I didn’t have any “recommendation” until this Domestika Course. Yes, the course is also somewhat “simplified”, yet it is a good “start” to understand what I am trying to do. Then, when they need further assistance, please consider taking the In-Person or [Core & Essence] Online Class. What I teach in QuiltCon & on Domestika do not really overlap. The QR code is on the 2nd photo, and the link is also available on the Story & Highlight.

Photo (c) Domestika



#Sashiko #刺し子


February 24, 2024 at 10:04PM

In the QuiltCon Lecture, I received an important question. [What is the line (boundary) between appropriation & appreciation (respect)?]. My answer was “acknowledgement (of the Stories behind)” as always. At the same time, after the lecture, I realized I could add one more word. If you follow this account for a while, you know what I am going to write – it is the importance of protecting the “upstream”.

I share pretty much everything on the Internet both the technical perspective of Sashiko & the cultural Story of Sashiko. I don’t hide/modify any of my stitching as I believe it is somewhat a public domain. I ask for the fee for workshops & Online Class when one needs my personal attention (and it can help to accelerate the learning) – but it isn’t necessary as the materials to learn Sashiko are already there for free of charge.

However, “Free” doesn’t mean “Non-Important” or “Non-significant”. One may learn Sashiko by watching my videos online and teaching themselves. It is perfectly fine to enjoy “self-taught” Sashiko, but even the “self-taught” has the materials to learn from – here, the photo/videos on Youtube. I never ask for compensation for saying that one learned Sashiko from me. Again, I share everything deliberately, and I even say “Copy it”. So, if you are about to learn Sashiko, please identify where you get that information – please acknowledge the “upstream” even when they say “self-taught”. If one ignores the upstream, and then pretends that they “invented” it, then it will lead their activity to Cultural Appropriation (as it may cause the Profit over sacrificing the upstream). So, to follow-up the great question, I would ask to acknowledge the story AND the “upstream” of where the story comes from. Thank you for learning Sashiko from us.


#Sashiko #刺し子


February 23, 2024 at 10:13PM

Missions Completed for QuiltCon 2024. I very much appreciate those who attended the Workshop & spent 6 hours together, those who attended the lecture & listened to my story both in the Hall & Online, and all who talked to me & all who have been supporting our Sashiko. Big Thanks to #themqg for another great opportunity to share what Sashiko is for us.

As always, I forgot to take photos of myself with my phone… If you have a good photo of my lecture/workshop, please share with me. 2/24 is my last day at QuiltCon 2024, so I will be hanging out in the exhibition hall before noon with my friend. I will enjoy beautiful quilts.

Before I pass out tonight, I wanted to share my gratitude here. I will keep sharing the Sashiko Story here and there. I hope to see/meet you again somewhere!!




#Sashiko #刺し子 #Quiltcon2024


February 20, 2024 at 08:03AM

Getting Ready for #QuiltCon2024 starting tomorrow! I feel so grateful for the opportunity to share the Sashiko we have been practicing. After all, no matter how loud or quiet our voice is, it is up to whether they are willing to listen or not. For me, therefore, knowing “Who is listening to our Story” is more important than mere “numbers”. In-Person Workshop, Lecture, and Online Class (Live Sessions) are the opportunities for me to get to know who are willing to listen to. Say hello to me when you find the Sashiko Denim like this (I may/will be extremely nervous on Thursday & Friday for Workshops & Lecture, so my face may not be pleasant – Saturday, I will be hopping around).

I have been sharing a Story about Sashiko (almost) everyday for the last 4 years or so. Never copied & pasted from my previous post. No AI writing generator. Everytime, I write from scratch. One significance is that I am doing so in my second language. I had never been out of Japan until the age of 19 – and many other Sashiko Artisans have never been/seen out of Japan. Their Sashiko started & concluded within Japan – and they aren’t really introduced due to the language difference. To be honest, in my feeling, their stories do not need to be introduced outside of Japan as it is completed within. However, or therefore, I feel the importance of delivering the “Stories” cultivated in Japan, by Japanese Sashiko Artisans.

I appreciate you being here to listen to. Unfortunately, those who I really need to deliver the messages are not ready to listen to me, yet one day, I hope my voice will be loud enough to be heard.

明日から #キルトコン に行ってきます!散々迷ったのですが、今年は車で片道8時間弱かけての旅です。(だって飛行機でも乗り継ぎとかすると同じくらいかかるので…)。今年こそは写真を沢山撮れると良いなぁと思いつつ、あまり期待はしないで頂けたら幸いです(笑)国際便もガンガン飛ぶようになってきているし、日本から #QuiltCon に参加される方もいらっしゃるのでしょうか?もしこのデニムみたいなのを着てるアジア人がいたら、ほぼ私だと思うので声をかけて頂けると嬉しいです。


#Sashiko #刺し子 #SashikoDenim


February 15, 2024 at 10:26AM

[When one learns the “Form/Kata”, anyone can do Sashiko as we do]. Many people who learned Sashiko from me, both Japanese & Non-Japanese, have proven this belief I have. The “Form” is more important than learning the superficial technique or designs. The form – Core & Essence – will define the Sashiko we practice, and the Sashiko you may practice.

One of the reasons I can be so sure about what I am doing is “Japanese who learn Sashiko from me”. My words & practice need to be somewhat common sense to the Japanese. I started realizing that their Sashiko are so similar to the Sashiko in my memories, which I thought I had lost. I believe we are getting ready to surprise the world – the Sashiko introduced in English is only a surface of its practice. We will show what Sashiko really is, with not only “words”, but with what we actually make.



運針会、そして運針をする皆様との集まりを繰り返して思うのは、「私達は、日本の刺し子は、世界を驚かせることができる」ということです。私一人で物語は作れても、一人だけでは形にできなかった「驚きの世界線」です。英語圏での刺し子が簡素化されているからこそ、日本の刺し子の凄さが一層伝わりやすいのかなとも思ったり。そういう下準備がされているのかなと思ったり。2030年までの5~6年間、ご縁を頂いている皆様と、世界を驚かせ続けようと思っています。(作品&写真提供 @satokiyo828 )

#Sashiko #刺し子 #運針


February 12, 2024 at 09:12AM

After so many discussions & planning, I am happy to announce the date for Sashiko Japan Tour 2024. It is from Nov.17th to Nov.27th (recommended to be in Japan on Nov.16th). The theme for this tour is to “experience” and “meet people” to see the Japanese Sashiko I want to share. Many opportunities to learn many types of Sashiko & Local Experience from Japanese Sashiko Artisans.

The waitlist has been opened on Google Form (https://ift.tt/8bZVoJq). I will start sending the invitation in the order of the list while considering the priorities such as Online Sashiko Class / In-Person Workshop Status & Patreon Support. In order to be part of this tour, [Core & Essence] Sashiko Class I offer is the prerequisite. It is like learning how to ski/snow-board before I take you to the various snow mountains.

The waitlist is open for a possible Sashiko Japan Tour after 2025. The detailed website will be available sometime next month. The first Sashiko Japan Tour in Spring 2023 was a life-changing experience for me. I am glad that I will have another opportunity to share “The Sashiko I see from my eyes as a Sashiko Artisan”, in Japan. This is something I can leave to this world to pass down the Sashiko, which may be lost in this fast & rough trend.



#Sashiko #刺し子 #SashikoJapanTour2024


February 11, 2024 at 10:49AM

In a trend of Sashiko defined as “Visible Mending”, many get confused by another term “Boro”. I often encounter the discussion (or even definition) comparing Sashiko & Boro, saying [This is Sashiko Technique, and that is Boro Technique]. The comparison is misleading, or even “Wrong”. As you know, it is quite rare for me to say “It is wrong” – but Sashiko & Boro are not something to compare.

One of the concepts to understand both words is “Mottainai”. It requires a book to explain what it is, but in a short description, many introduced it as “too good to waste” or “Not being Wasteful”. They are good descriptions, yet still a bit simplified. The element I would add is “Mottainai is a wisdom/lesson to NOT to ignore/mislead/underestimate/waste the true value of a matter (a thing or even a person)”. For that, the current trend of Sashiko is not following the lesson of Mottainai. I share stories because I feel “Mottainai” to those who think they understand Sashiko & Boro with their own narrow definitions. I feel as if they are throwing the most delicious part of this practice.

I am NOT trying to exclude others by saying “Sashiko introduced in English is simplified & romanticized”. I really feel “Mottainai” for those who just follow someone’s marketing strategy.



#Sashiko #刺し子 #BORO


February 09, 2024 at 08:58PM

Two weeks from now, on Friday night of 2/23, I will be having another grateful opportunity to speak on the stage as part of the #QuiltCon Lecture. Last year in 2023 in Atlanta, my lecture was about “Cultural Sustainability”. This year, I will talk about the difference I feel as a Sashiko Artisan between (Modern) Quilting and Sashiko. The coherence message in my lecture is to bridge “my culture” to “their culture”. I am always trying to include/involve anyone regardless of who they are. If one finds my stories “exclusive”, then they are reading what they want to read – not what is written.

When I wrote the proposal of this lecture, I was a bit anxious if this lecture would be as good as the previous one. The ”Cultural Sustainability” is the lecture topic I have been practicing & I can be “somewhat” confident in that. In the process of preparation, in comparing Sashiko & Quilting, I found an interesting “connection”. By sharing the difference, I may be able to “bridge/connect” two (and possibly more) stitching practices. Live Streaming every week also helps me to make my stories so comprehensive.

I do not want to raise the bar so high before the actual lecture. However, I feel like this topic can be another great topic for my future lecture availability. If you plan to be there, I will see you soon! Oh, make sure to talk to me after the lecture to get the sticker (before the lecture, I am probably spacing out due to the fear of being on the stage).



#Sashiko #刺し子


February 08, 2024 at 10:21AM

Today is Feb.8th as Kotoyouka (事八日). If you are a long follower here, I hope you know what it means. It is a Day for HariKuyou – a memorial ritual of thanking the broken/bent needles that ended their hard work. It is a Day (Opportunity) to appreciate the hardworking partners we already depend on, and technically speaking, it is a Day for resting them, including our hands. Well… today is the Live Streaming Day. “Technically Speaking”, it is Feb 9th in Japan when I do so… & technically speaking, in our region, Harikuyou is on Dec.8th… so, I will stitch on the Live Streaming Today.

Sashiko has become a trendy word with many misleading fantasies. “Zen”, “Visible Mending”, “Simplicity”… you may know the trend better than me. Unfortunately, some of them aren’t really accurate, even “opposite”. It happens because they try to sell their services & products without proper respect & commitment. Without acknowledging the story, an ordinary ritual like Harikuyou can sound shady. The culture is full of stories, and I hope you keep learning what Sashiko can be for the Japanese.

I named my project “Upcycle” Stitches in 2016. I didn’t really intend to focus on “recycling” for environmental issues. For me, “Upcycle” is a process of adding stories to the story I have today – like layering the stories with those memorial days such as Harikuyou every year appreciating what we have today. (Detail can be found on Patreon & Today’s Youtube Live Streaming).



#Sashiko #刺し子


February 06, 2024 at 08:43AM

As I learn English everyday, I realize the “definitive” perspective of English as a Language – both effectiveness & risk. I admire English as the tool to communicate over many different cultures. At the same time, it can be violent when they try to define other cultures – like Sashiko introduced in English. Language often is a Tool, and English is like a Sharp Knife. I really wish that we (as English Speakers) acknowledge the power of English.

[Sashiko is very similar to embroidery, except that most designs are geometric]. This is a comment on my Youtube video talking about “Cultural Appropriation”. You know this isn’t true if you have been reading my Sashiko Stories. Well… if I were to read naturally, this comment says that the difference is “just” the design. As you know, the difference between Sashiko and other embroidery (or Hand-Stitching) is NOT just the design. Would it be called “Entitlement”, or in a positive way, I would say this is the “sharpness” of English. Without the ability to read English as full context, English is the language to accelerate the Simplification. We are so used to reading the “summary” by someone… yet English is more than just a tool when we can acknowledge the full context.

Don’t define someone’s culture so easily. Don’t judge someone’s life so lightly. Most importantly, Don’t let anyone define what Sashiko is for you, and who you are. Sashiko is MORE than design, and the comment like above is, unfortunately, ignorant (the sign of no further learning). I hope you here aren’t one of those.


#Sashiko #刺し子 #刺し子展