Report of Harikuyou

Local Report of Harikuyou – Sashiko Archive From Patreon

This is an article from our Patreon (written on December, 2020), and intending to share more information about a style of Hari Kuyou – that I introduce on Instagram. I made this article public for limited time so that we can share the actual images of Harikuyou happening in Japan. It would be great if you could consider supporting us on Patreon for us keep sharing the stories (For those who already support me on Patreon, I really appreciate your understanding of sharing this article outside of the Patreon).

Feb.8th was the day of “Kotoyouka (事八日)”. “Harikuyou (針供養)” is one of the ceremony we have on Kotoyouka. The Harikuyou – a requiem ceremony for hard-working broken & bent needles, seems to inspire many non-Japanese people with the concept of “appreciating the spirit within a material”. I am very happy to share how important it is to be familiar with Animism in Japan. It is very ordinary for us to appreciate a “matter”.

I haven’t been back to Japan for more than 7 years. It was a pity to not be able to share the Harikuyou in Japan with photos. One of the followers on Instagram kindly shared some photos of her visit to one of the most famous Shinto shrines for Harikuyou – Osaka Tenmangu.

Harikuyou in Osaka Tenmangu – Report of Harikuyou

Each Shinto Shrine has their own “Spirit” to appreciate. The spirit can be a form of “God exists in Nature”, “Historical person with great achievement”, “An emperor in history”, and/or “someone who sacrifices their lives to the development of Japan”. It is very challenging to summarize this concept, and it requires a collection of books to explain the whole picture. In short rough summary, it may be easy to understand that each Shinto Shrine has a “theme” in their own form of Appreciation (*1).

*1 – As a famous example, please let me share Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo. Yasukuni Shrine was founded by Emperor Meiji in June 1869 and commemorates those who died in service of Japanese Modernization. It includes the spirit who sacrificed their lives in World war II – and it means it includes those Kamikaze pilots. It has been a political issue to visit Yasukuni Shrine as a “politician” because it “could” validate the history of Japan going into war. It isn’t an easy discussion to conclude, but I hope this explains what I meant by “theme” in each Shrine.

In some of the big shinto shrines, they have many buildings. Each building often celebrates a different spirit even in the same Shinto Shrine (which is very confusing for many western people who believe in The (Absolute) God).

In Osaka Tenmangu, the Harikuyou is performed in Kibi Shrine (building) in which celebrate the spirit of Kibi no Makibi (吉備 真備) who is well-known for a one of the first “International Students to China in 717”. Those “International Students (we call it ‘Kentoushi – 遣唐使)” imported many techniques, skills, wisdom and culture from China. Since the group of Kibi no Makibi is known as the one who imported a variety of embroidery techniques to Japan, the ceremony for needles is held here.

I hope it makes sense – the relationship between who is appreciated in each shrine and how it is related to what they have accomplished.

Something Soft for the needles to rest

Harikuyou is a ceremony to show appreciation to the hard-working needles. Therefore, we stick the needles into something soft so that they can rest in it. In some places, they use “Tofu”. In this Shrine, they use “Konnyaku – こんにゃく” (a traditional Japanese food and is made from Konjac Yam).

As you can see, many kinds of needles are brought to the Harikuyou. A dressmaker’s pins, hand-sewing needles, and also Sashiko needles as well.

Harizuka (針塚) where needles rest forever

The needles in something soft will be serviced (purified) by a Shinto priest. Then, it will be buried in a mound – so called Harizuka (針塚) – Needle mound. The photo introduces that this Harizuka is made by contributions from 2 organizations deeply related to needle work in 1926. The 2 organizations are “Union of Merchant & Maker of Japanese Kimono in Osaka” & “A group of volunteers of Embroidery Artisans in Osaka”. It explains how deeply our ordinary is related to the Japanese history.

It doesn’t have to be this “Formal”

As much as I would like to visit a Shinto Shrine to perform the Harikuyou, possibly & hopefully with you one day, the ceremony doesn’t have to be that “formal” like these photos. The most important concept of Harikuyou is to acknowledge the spirit within the Needles and “appreciate” it. It can lead us to appreciate the environment, someone who makes the tools, and each stitcher like ourselves. This is the sustainability of “caring” and “mindfulness” that I would like to pass down. It is the ordinary of Japanese, which can be an inspirational custom for the world.

Interested in how we do Hari Kuyou?

Besides this Report of Harikuyou, the article about the detail of Hari-Kuyou is available on this website for limited time as well.


A Style of Hari Kuyou (針供養)- Sashiko Archive From Patreon

This is an article from our Patreon (written on December, 2020), and intending to share more information about a style of Hari Kuyou – that I introduce on Instagram. I made this article public for limited time so that anyone can share, learn, and appreciate the unique cultural perspective of Sashiko & related rituals in Japan. If you can affor $5.00 per month, your support will be a good help for me to keep writing/sharing this type of Story. (For those who already support me on Patreon, I really appreciate your understanding of sharing this article outside of the Patreon).

December 8th and February 8th is the day called “Koto Youka (事八日)”. For stitchers like us who use needles ordinarily, it is the day to appreciate the needles even more than usual. It is the day of Hari Kuyou – a requiem service for broken/unusable needles.

I once explained about the Hari Kuyou and Koto Youka in the Sashiko Journey #55 on Patreon. However, I didn’t break it down to a process “How to do Hari Kuyou” in our days. So, I would like to introduce how the Japanese would service the Hari Kuyou, and how I would honor the service outside of Japan.

Pray for the needle with appreciation

The most ordinary way to honor the Hari Kuyou Service is bringing the broken/unusable needles to the shrine. Many shrines, including the big famous one & local small one, shall offer the Hari Kuyou memorials on December 8th and/or February 8th. (It depends on where the shrine locates – In general, Feb.8th for the east part of Japan, and December 8th for the west part of Japan.)

When you visit the shrine on Hari Kuyou day, you will find a big “Tofu” with many broken needles on it. That’s how we farewell the needles. We pray for the needle with sincere appreciation for the hard work the needle had done for us. The needle will be buried to “mound” after a Shinto priest performs appropriate purification.

There is no strict style to follow. We  visit the shrine, stick the needle on the Tofu, and pray with puting the palms together.

*For the photo of a big “Tofu” with needles sticked, lease search online with this Japanese character, “針供養”.

Let the needle Rest after all hard work

The whole point of the service is to let the needle rest after all of their hard work. The needle became unusable or broken because we used the needle heavily, intensively, and/or on the thick fabric. They worked so hard for us. At the end of the needle’s life, we stitch the needle to something very “soft” and pray for their rest in peace.

It seems like the “Tofu” is a common materials for the softness. However, it doesn’t have to be Tofu. In some regions, people used “Mochi (Sticky Rice Cake)” or “Konnyaku (konjac jelly?)”. Some think that using food is “wasting”, so they use a piece of “sponge” to honor the service.

I understand “what kind of soft materials we use for Hari Kuyou” is pretty flexible as long as the needle can rest in a soft material.

I have heard that we can find documents that the Japanese practiced this Hari Kuyou as early as the 9th century. It is more than 1,100 years ago. That’s how long we have been appreciating the needle. Stitching (not only Sashiko but also any kinds of stitching in Japan) was something more than just stitching for the Japanese people.

Not “Recycle” so much. More of “Reincarnation”

I understand that some understand this service as the “recycle custom” – how to recycle the needle instead of just throwing them away – because disposing the needle is kind of dangerous and unfriendly to the environment. 

However, the service itself is not so much about “recycle” as we think today (environmentally). It is more like “Reincarnation” for the spirit within the needles.

The needles we bring to the shrine will be buried in the “Needle mount” designated in the shrine. How about the rest of us who don’t have the shrine that take care of it nearby?

In the past, the Japanese chose several ways to “farewell” the needle. It all depends on the regions but following the similar steps.

First, they all appreciate the needle and put them in something soft.

Second, if they have a Kamidana (a household Shinto altar) in their house, they would pray for the needle by putting the needles on something soft in front of Kamidana. With sharing the appreciation to the needle in front of “Gods”, it serves a purpose of purification.

Then, they chose a way to “say good-bye” by…

  • Bury it in the ground
  • Flow it in the river
  • Drop it in the sea

In today’s society, for environmental reasons, I do not know if we flow it in the river or drop it in the sea. They may bury it (needle & something soft) under the ground if it is their personal property. However, since we have much better transportation structure (like public transportation and our own cars), it is more popular to visit the shrine for the best service for Hari Kuyou.

How about in the U.S.?

How about those who lives outside of Japan, like Atsushi who lives in the U.S. then?

Well… I do not have a Kamidana in my house. There are no shrines in the driving distance. Therefore, I perform the service by myself.

I put the needles on a small piece of Tofu.

I tell the needle my appreciation for going into meditative status.

Then, I bury it wrapped with an old (yet white) cloth to the ground of my yard (where my daughter will not play with digging like our kitchen garden.

A style is important, of course.

However, here, the day (moment) of appreciating the needle is the most important part of this Hari Kuyou, I believe.

Needles work for us, to make it happen

We use needles every day without doubt. The needle enables us to talk to the fabric throughout stitching. Have you ever felt that the needle is kind of in a bad mood? The needle is an inorganic substance. However, we believe that a spirit existed in it, and the spirit often reflects who we are on that day. Isn’t it interesting? The more we think about it, the more I believe that there is actually “spirit” in all of the things.

Needles work for us a lot.

Without the needles, our work will not be achievable.

Therefore, we appreciate the people/spirit who makes the needle, who use the needle, and the needle themselves.

Some Japanese people do not hold the needle on the day of Hari Kuyou no matter how “busy” their schedules are. It is a day to appreciate the needle. Therefore, I keep sharing, Sashiko (thread, fabric, thimble, needle and many more) is much more than just words.

Thank you for your support.

Report on Hari Kuyou

I also share a report on Hari Kuyou from my friend. I hope this will help you to experience & learn What Hari Kuyou is for us.

Sashiko In-Person Workshop Schedule 2023 Cover

Sashiko In-Person Workshop Schedule 2023

Please find the detail information about Sashiko In-Person Workshop Schedule 2023, when and where Atsushi will be offering the Sashiko Workshop. As you may know by now, I do not offer many workshop throughout the year – probably maximum of 6 workshop throughout the year. I hope that you can find one to join one of the Sashiko In-Person Workshop Schedule 2023.

*For those who wish to learn “Now”, please consider taking the Sashiko Online Class (2023). I am receiving many positive reviews that the Online Class can offer the same outcome of learning What Sashiko is. Some even prefer Online Class as they could proceed their learning with their own speed. One downside of Online Class is a missing opportunity of you touching our actual Sashiko items.

* For the drawback above, if you are learning from Sashiko Online Class & live near the workshop location, depends on the schedule, you can stop by the workshop & meet in person!

Sashiko Workshop Schedule 2023

Sashiko Workshop Schedule 2023 Across the United States.

(Last Update: Jan.30th 2023)

Sashiko In-Person Workshop Schedule 2023

Schweinfurth Art Center (Auburn, NY) – Oct.2023

This is my first time to offer 3 Full Days Sashiko Workshop in well-known Schweinfurth Art Center in New York. Starting with learning the “Core & Essence” of the Sashiko We practice, we will go through the whole standard process of our Sashiko with sharing many Samples & ideas. This will be an intensive 18~21 hours of Sashiko Stitching Workshop.

We had great time in the In-Person SashikoWorkshop below!

QuiltCon 2023 (Atlanta, GA) – Feb.2023

It is an honor to teach Sashiko in QuiltCon again. In this year, I will be offering Sashiko Workshop “Core & Essence”, and a Lecture about Cultural Sustainability in Sashiko. Please check the detail below for the possible participation to Quiltcon 2023 & Sashiko Workshop “Core & Essence”.

Aya Fiber Studio (Stuart, FL) – April.2023

Another Great opportunity to spend 3-full days with Sashiko we practice, from Core & Essence to many ways to apply to your own project, and practice Sashiko with them. In Stuart, FL, we will have very fun, educational, and intensive 18 ~ 21 hours of stitching together. Plan your time in beautiful beach in FL with Sashiko!

Bring Atsushi to Your Group

Please consider bringing Atsushi to your group (or even to you as a private course) if you do not find a ideal location & time for you to join Sashiko In-Person Workshop Schedule 2023. Depends on the numbers of your group & location, this may be the best interest for you. Please take a look at the article below & contact Atsushi for the availability. If you are an organizer wishing to offer Sashiko Workshop with Atsushi, please check the “Pricing Benchmark” PDF from the link below.

Sashiko Online Class (23)

Sashiko Online Class is available for those who would like to start learning Sashiko right now from your place. After sharing Sashiko over the Internet for a while, I am confident that I can deliver the same message via Sashiko Online Class. I “restock” Sashiko Online Class in the 3rd week of each month, based on the numbers of participants who signed up for the specific period. If you find it available, there is no need to fulfill the waiting list. I am looking forward to meeting you online!

More to Come for Sashiko In-Person Workshop Schedule 2023

I have one workshop pending in 2024, and hoping that I can offer a few more workshops somewhere in 2023. Please follow Instagram, Business for @UpcycleStitches and Sashiko Stories for @SashikoStory for the latest update!

Lists of Sashiko Activities

Links for Sashiko Activities

I am looking back how much informaiton we have shared since 2017. Instagram itself has more than 2,000 Stories, and there are quite Long 160+ articles on Patreon. I receive many questions of “where to get information”. To be honest, I want them to look for the information before asking that question. However, at the same time, in this society, I realize it is my responsibility to offer better experience. The voice becomes the Voice when I can deliver it to many people. This page is a list of Links for our Sashiko Activities. I hope you can find the information you are looking for.

Please Click here to learn more about In-Person Sashiko Workshop for 2023.

[New Update on Sashiko Story]

My Recommendation for “Where to Start Learning Sashiko”.

Learn Sashiko Online from Japanese Sashiko Artisans.

Sashiko isn’t difficult at all. However, there are certain things to learn, such as “Form”, in order to appropriately understand what Sashiko is. You can learn the Core & Essence of Sashiko online now. Please consider taking our Online Sashiko Class to learn the Sashiko we (Japanese Sashiko Artisans) have been enjoying & practicing for a long time.

(Listed Chronologically & Updating Periodically).

List of Links:

Atsushi will be in Japan starting 4/11 to 4/26. Please take a look at what I am offering while I am in Japan! Although I cannot take you with me, I want you to be involved in this Sashiko Japan Tour 2023.

Links for Sashiko Activities

We have a LOT more going on. Please come back to this page for more information. If you do not find the link you are looking for, please leave a comment on this post so that I can add it right away. Thank you for your help & understanding.

Sashiko Japan Tour

Finally… Finally, I am restarting the plan to bring my Sashiko friends to Japan to share what I consider it “Sashiko” and “Japanese Beautiful Culture”. Please find the detail Above

Natural Dye Sashiko Thread

We are restocking our popular “Natural Dyed Sashiko Thread (by Keiko)” little by little. Please check the store page if it is available!

In order to teach Sashiko, I am actively learning what the participants want to learn. “My Comom knowledge may be someone’s miracle solution” – so, I am trying to share something I find trifle, yet may be informative someone – Sharing Sashiko Wisdom.

It is very important to keep speaking up on many platform like Instagram & Youtube. However, these message tend to be one-direction: My voice to you. On top of that, I would like to offer an opportunity to get together to “Share” the Japanese Sashiko.

Sashiko Japan Tour 2023 Spring Cover

Sashiko Japan Tour 2023 – Spring

Stitching Sashiko Together in Japan, while sharing the view of my Sashiko Experience. It has been my dream to make it happen to bring my Sashiko friends to Japan with. In 2019, I started planning the one. I completed the itinerary, made reservations for everyone on the list, even paid some deposit for some events… and I had to cancel everything due to the pandemic. 2.5 years has passed since, I am very happy to announce the “Sashiko Japan Tour 2023 Spring” will come to true.

Please understand that this is NOT a commercial tour available to the general public. It is more like me taking you to Japan as my friend (since you are my friends after taking the Online Sashiko Class or In-Person Workshop). No “packaged sightseeing tour” is part of the itinerary. No “touristy stuff” may be included. However, instead, I am adding many exclusive Sashiko experience with asking my Sashiko friends in Japan. “Sashiko Japan Tour 2023 Spring” will be something very unique for those who love & wish to learn Sashiko & Boro more.

To receive more detail information & get a spot, please fill out the Google Form below.

*As of 10/29, all the spots are tentatively reserved (waiting for their confirmation for the schedule). You can be on the waiting list, and I will contact you in the order I receive the submission on Google Form.

Theme Photo of Sashiko Japan Tour 2023 Spring

Theme of Sashiko Japan Tour 2023

“Meet Peeple & Experience Sashiko” – this is the theme of this tour. Also, this is one reason you may want to join the tour I organize among many other “Japanese Textile Tour”. We do not have any “planned” sightseeing package (We will have free time for us to “choose” to go to sightseeing). Instead, we ask a local Sashiko people (including Atsushi) to show us around to experience their Sashiko & meet new people for us. Atsushi will be always there to help communication.

We plan to visit many stores for “Shopping”, but very much focused on Sashiko, textile, Boro, and Natural Dye – pretty much anything related Sashiko. Instead, we will NOT stop by a large shopping center for the souvenior in the tour. You can arrange one before or after the actual tour if you would like to do so, and I am happy to help.

HighLight of the Tour

Atsushi is actively planning many events in Japan. Please find what you can expect as the main event in this tour:

  • Socializing Event to meet Japanese Sashiko stitchers – Keiko & our work’s Exhibition.
  • Meeting & Stitching with Keiko in Takayama (Sashiko & Boro & Hitomezashi Workshops) – for days (Prerequisite of Atsushi’s Workshop “Core & Essence” – Online Sashiko Class before tour is available for those are very new to our Sashiko)
  • Join the Famous Takayama Festival (Spring) from Local’s View.
  • Traditional Meal in Takayama, in 200+ years old restraurants with Michelin starts. Atsushi personally explain the significance of this place in English.
  • A Whole Day in Takayama for Shopping & SightSeeing from Local Eyes.
  • A Whole Day in Kyoto for Shopping & possible Workshops (Store list available in the Itenary) 
  • A Whole Day in Tokyo for visiting friends & Shopping
  • Kogin-Sashi Workshop with meeting a legendary Teacher in Tokyo.
  • A visit to Shirakawago (National Heritage) to see the houses (places) where they would be stitching for their survival.
  • Authentic Natural Indigo Dye Workshop in suberb of Tokyo (when one choose “Extended”)

For more information, please visit our Special Page for Sashiko Japan Tour 2023

Also, you can find the archive of Newsletters & Annoucnement I have done so far.

This is the First, but not the last.

I sincerely hop that I can continue offering this great opportunity to anyone who learn Sashiko from me. This is NOT a commercial tour to provide the Tourism Side of Japan – however, I believe that I can offer the “Real View of Current Japanese Sashiko” – which I always talk about on my SNS.

Even if you are not able to join this tour, filling out the application (there is an option to not to join this time), and letting me if you may be interested in future along with your preference will help me to look for more opportunities. Thank you & I am looking forward to spending time with you in Japan!

QuiltCon 2023 Sashiko Workshops

QuiltCon 2023 Sashiko Workshop & Lecture Announcement

It is my sincere pleasure to announce that I will be attending again the QuiltCon as a faculty. Sashiko Workshop “Core & Essence” and Sashiko Lecture about “Cultural Sustainabiulity” will be offered as a part of QuiltCon 2023 in Atlanta, Geogia between February 23th to 26th (

It has been my dream to offer a lecture about the Sashiko we have been practice. This will be my first time to speak in front of a big audience in a lecture format. All of the lectures I have done is in either small group (like classroom sized) or online. I am very much excited to share the Sashiko we are so passionate about.

Thanks to many positive feedbacks from the previous Quiltcons, I received the fortunate to continue offering the “Core & Essence” workshop. In this blog, I will explain what is the contents for the workshop & lecture in QuiltCon 2023. Sashiko Workshop “Application & Practice”, which I had offered in QuiltCon 2022, will not be offered in QuiltCon 2023 because of a complicated requirement to take (some prerequisite to fully enjoy the workshop). I am developing the Online Version of this workshop, so please wait for an update.

*The Registration for the Quilcton 2023 opened for MQG members on August 16, 2022. For General Registration, the registration will be opened on September 9th. To get detail information & description about the workshop on interactive catalogue, please search the class by my name “Atsushi” or “Sashiko“. I do not offer Boro workshop or lecture.

*I learned that the workshop has been SOLD OUT on the day of opening the registrartion (Thank you!!). From my previous experience in QuiltCon, many people change their plans from August to the actual QuiltCon in Feb. Please do not give up & keep your name in the Waitlist just in case it may open for you. Unfortunately, I do not have any control on the registration process. Please join the Waitlist & contact QuiltCon Administration if you have any specific questions & request.

*Lecture should be available without worrying about the case of “SOLD OUT”. However, the early registration would be very much appreciated for the estaimation.

*Please check our [Special Webpage] for those who registered the Core & Essence Workshop. You can find all the information you need to know to maximize the Sashiko Workshop.

QuiltCon 2023 Sashiko Workshop and Lecture

Sashiko Workshop: Core and Essence

In 6 hours of the workshop, I want you to learn the Core & Essence of Sashiko Stitching. I will go over a history, terminology, and the technique of how to use unique tools with one of the core essences of Sashiko – Unshin (運針).

This is a learning opportunity rather than a “Let’s enjoy sashiko together” workshop. Therefore, participants may go through some challenging process to learn something new. In 6 hours of intensive stitching practice, you will be able to achieve the Unshin that you may have seen on Youtube.

Sashiko isn’t about making one perfect stitch. It isn’t also about embracing the inperfection. It is about communicating to the fabric by moving your needle at your own “rhythm”. This is the workshop of Sashiko’s Core & Essence.

While your practice, I will share many Sashiko Stories. Sashiko is more than just a technique (I will of course teach you techniques to make stitches even & beautiful).

With following some of my SNS Sashiko Stories and Youtube, this will be a memorable & eye-opening experience for you.

This workshop is the must workshop to continue learning from Atsushi & Upcycle Stitches. It is mostly the same contents to the other In-person Workshops (6 hours length) as well as the Online Sashiko Class. If you have taken the other In-person Workshops or Online Sashiko Class, you do NOT need to take this class again. Of course, it is your choice to repeat the same class & enjoy In-person experience, but please be advised that the contents will be very similar. If you would like to have the refresh of the workshop to take other workshops, please contact Atsushi with the email address you have taken the first class. I can offer some support.

Sashiko Lecture: Cultural Sustainablity

This is my first time to offer a Lecture in a conference room setting. I have been sharing many Sashiko Stories on Instagram. You can find my actual voice & message on Youtube. The long & private stories are availalble on Patreon. I have done several Sashiko “Webinars” online. Yes, I have many messages to share: and it is an honor to be able to present my message in the QuiltCon 2023.

The title of the Lecture is “Cultural Sustainability”. This may sounds a bit scary, or even intimidating to some of those who are actively enjoying Sashiko now. You/They may wonder if Atsushi may criticize those who are enjoying Sashiko now from cultural perspective especially because Atsushi has been saying [Sashiko introduced in English is NOT wrong, but insufficient] in 2022.

As I keep sharing the story, this “insufficient” is simply “not enough”. I do not use the word “insufficient” as “wrong” or “doing something wrong”. Since not many “Native Japanese” have shared the stories of Sashiko, it is of course not sufficiently explained. Unfortunately, when the stories are not shared from the cultural origin, the culture may be “repainted” – changed to completely different color. That is what I would like to stop. Since they are some who try to change the culture intentionally for their profit and convenience, I would like to ask the active members of Quilting Culture to help us to preserve the Sashiko Culture – by simply “acknowleding” it.

I promise I will NOT criticize the Online Sashiko Trend. I just would like to explain the situation objectively so that I can try to preserve “the Japanese Sashiko Culture” – not only my own Sashiko practice.

*I share my own Sashiko Practice in the “Core & Essence” Workshop.

I will bring some samles to share on Stage: and if time allows, you can touch them as well. I hope you can make time to visit me for the Lecture.

*The lecture will be prepared for QuiltCon 2023 Sashiko Workshops & lectures. However, Some of the Stories may (and should) overrap the stories I share in The Core & Essence Workshop.

I will see you there in Atlanta.

I have workshops from morning to the evening on Thursday & Friday. I have a morning lecture on Saturday. After the workshop & lecture, each day, I plan to enjoy the Quilt Exhibition in the main area. You may be surprized… but I am quite shy. So if you see me walking & enjoying the quilts, please say “Hi” to me. Unless I am running to the workshop/lecture, I will be happy to share our Sashiko with you there.

QuiltCon 2023 Sashiko Workshop Details

It is my pleasure to join the QuiltCon 2023 as a Faculty. It has been difficult years, and with all the effort of many kind & passionate people in Modern Quilt Guild (MQG), I am very happy that I can be part of this great event. This page is for those who plan to attend QuiltCon 2023 Sashiko Workshop, “Core & Essence”. Please find the details below to see what you can expect in QuiltCon 2023 Sashiko Workshop.

*If you do not have a registration confirmation to join the QuiltCon 2023 Sashiko Workshop, please contact MQG for the possible waiting list. In QuiltCon 2022, there were a few last minutes cancellation, and there may be a chance for you to join this year. Also, I offer Online Sashiko Class as well as a few In-person Workshops for 2022. Please check each articles for the details. Thank you.

In QuiltCon 2023, I offer 1 Sashiko Workshop “Core & Essence” and 1 Sashiko Lecture about “Cultural Sustainability”. In this page, I explain what you can expect to join the Core & Essence Sashiko Workshop in QuiltCon. There aren’t many preparation request. However, please read this article carefully to maximize your experience there.

QuiltCon 2023 Sashiko Workshop: Core & Essence

In our tradition, Sashiko is NOT about making perfect (or Inperfect) stitches. It is all about moving (trusting) a needle comfortably while communicating the fabric. Unfortunately, the current trend of Sashiko is missing the most important part of Sashiko. In this “Core & Essence” workshop, I will teach you the core technique of our Sashiko so that you can start focusing on communication rather than judging each stitches you make.

It is extremely important to take this workshop before jumping in to any of the workshops I & Upcycle Stitches offer. There are a few Japanese terms that the participants need to memorize (not so many & no exams or whatsoever, but knowing them is important).

On Instagram and Facebook, I often say: Sashiko is NOT ◯◯. This workshop “Core & Essence” will give you the answer what Sashiko is for you while you learning new techniques.

*This workshop is not a type of “Let’s Enjoy Sashiko Togeher” workshop. It is one-direction learning experience for you. The participants are required to stitch a lot. They may have to go through some “uncomfortable” stitching experience (due to new muscles they use). Sometimes, it may require some mindfulness in an eye-opening experience. Please do not be scared or worried, however. I will do everything to help you to “experience” and “start enjoying” the Sashiko we practice today.

*There is NO prerequisite for this workshop. No experience in Sashiko is necessary. If you have never touched the hand-stitching needle, please try to learn how to “thread” the needle, or how to use the threader (videos are available on my Youtube). On the other hands, if you think you already know about Sashiko, please try to be as open-mind as possible. What I teach in this workshop is probably different from what you already know. There is no such a thing as “Right and Wrong” in Sashiko: and I will add another perspective of Sashiko in this workshop.

Please purchase the special package for QuiltCon Sashiko: Core & Essence below.

It is extremely important that everyone has the exact same materials & tools to pass down the Core & Essence within 6~8 hours. Please purchase the special package below before the QuiltCon 2023.

What to bring to Sashiko: Core & Essence.

The Special Package above is all you need to enjoy the Sashiko: Core & Essence. If you choose to receive it to your home, please bring all of the contents inside.

The following list is something maybe helpful for you to bring & prepare:

  • Masking Tape or Bandage to protect the nail from scratching by needles.
  • It may a good idea to cut the nail on the dominant hand (the hand with the needle). One can learn Sashiko with long nails, but it may be an obstacles in the first trial.

How about another workshop, Application & Practice?

In QuiltCon 2022 (in Phoenix), I had offered the follow-up Sashiko Workshop “Application & Practice”. I believe it was a great success & I have received many positive feedback. However, in this QuiltCon, I will focus on the new challenge of offering the lecture. We do NOT offer “Application & Practice” workshop for this year.

“Application & Practice” has a prerequisite from any form of “Core & Essence” Sashiko Workshops I offer (Online & In-person). I believe it was a bit confusing to ask for “prerequisite” in such a big event. It doesn’t mean that the workshop itself wasn’t enjoyable. Due to many request, I am working on the Online Version of “Application & Practice” workshop. It still require the “Core & Essence” as prerequisite. Please consider taking the Online Version of Application & Practice when it is ready! (or you can ask QuiltCon to have me for that as well!). If you are interested, please find this webpage to learn the difference between “Core & Essence (C/E)” and “Application & Practice (A&P)”

*”A&P” is type of the workshop of “Let’s enjoy Sashiko Together” with following my specific guidance, including Hitomezashi and Mending Ideas.

*The Previous Knowlege of our Unshin (Core & Essence) is prerequisite for this Workshop. Any of Atsushi’s Full-Time (more than 3 hours) workshops graduates are qualified. If you have taken the In-person workshop with Atsushi before 2019, which was longer than 3 hours, you are most likely qualified. If you take the Sashiko Mastery Class in QuiltCon 2020 or taking the Sashiko: Core & Essence in QuiltCon 2022 & 2023, or have taken the Online Sashiko Class, you are qualified. If you aren’t sure, please contact me so that I can check the status. This prerequisite is extremely important to make this workshop enjoyable for you. I appreciate your understanding.

About Recommended Tools for our Sashiko

The Special Supply Package for the [Core & Essence] Workshop includes everything the participants need in the workshop. There is no need to prepare thread, needle, thimble or fabric for learning Sashiko in this workshop. In order to avoid unfortunate misunderstanding, I require everyone to use the exact same tools & supply.

That being said, there are a few recommended tools for Sashiko, which is NOT necessary yet very useful when you wish to continue Sashiko stitching. You can find another article here for Recommended Tools.

Thread Clipper

Threaders & Finger Cots

Bobbin Paper

Mylar Paper & Carbon Paper

General Information for the Recommended Tools & Supplies for Sashiko Stitching

I am here to Support

If you have any questions about QuiltCon 2023 Sashiko Workshop “Core & Essence”, please contact Atsushi. I am happy to answer any questions or worries prior to the workshop. Your question may be someone’s question, and I will share the question and answers here on this website (of course, annonymously).

I am looking forward to meeting you in Atlanta, GA.

QuiltCon 2023 Sashiko Workshop

Q&A for the QuilCon 2023 Sashiko

Q: (Sample) What is Sashiko?

A: (Sample) You will find out in the workshop!

Monthly Sashiko Gathering Cover

Monthly Sashiko Gathering in English

My dream has come true! I am very happy to announce this trial of “Monthly Sashiko Gathering in English”, starting September 2022. One of my dream in sharing the Sashiko Stories is to create a “place” for anyone to feel “being belonged”: “Ibasho (居場所)” as I name it after Japanese word (which has more meaning than a place to be – but the closest one). Weekly Sashiko Live Streaming on Youtube has become a great Ibasho for me as well as many Sashiko friends across the world. However, the Live Streaming tend to be one-direction communication: I talk, the audience reply in the comment section. It is great, but the best place to make it “Place to be”. So, I tried to arrange occasional gathering here and there… but it has been very challenging to keep offering due to my financial & time restriction. After sharing our Sashiko to a Japanese who lives in San Francisco Bay Area, Maiko-san, we are finally offering this monthly Sashiko Gathering where anyone can join.

*Anyone can join for free of charge. However, there are some rules to make this place safe & comforatble. Please read the agreement carefully on the registration page.

Maiko’s Dream through Monthly Sashiko Gathering

Maiko has a dream to be a bridge of Japaneseculture and other cultures (in English). It isn’t really only about translating the voices: it is more like “sharing” the experience. In order to fully understand the Japanese culture, I believe the fluent Japanese language skill is necessary. However, it is not fair to ask everyone to be fluent in Japanese to “appreciate” the Japanese culture. So, Maiko’s dream and my dream met there. We sincerely hope that Sashiko will be a medium to encourage Japanese to learn English, and English speakers to talk to the Japanese people in sharing the same passion: Sashiko.

Maiko is in charge of the gathering. I will be just an assistant. Alghouth it has been challenging for us to set up the best comfortable time to join (especially those in Europe time-zone), I hope you can join one gathering at some point. We plan to offer 2 kinds of Sashiko Gathering. Please read the description carefully, and register it on Maiko’s website.

Monthly Sashiko Gathering (Stitch, Chat and Learn)

Register at

This is a monthly discussion group open to anyone who is INTERESTED IN JAPANESE CULTURE AND LOVES SASHIKO. Our discussion will revolve around the topic presented by the facilitator of the meeting.

In our online meeting, we will share thoughts and deepen our understanding of Japan and its culture while individually working on our own sashiko projects.

There is no fee to attend this meeting but registration is required.

  • The language used in this group is ENGLISH.
  • This is a friendly discussion group and NOT a place to learn sashiko skills OR do show-and-tell of your projects.
  • Atsushi may not be present in this gathering. Maiko will be always there to facilitate the gathering.


  • Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022 at 10.30 pm (EDT)

Sashiko Idobatakai in English

Register at

This is a monthly, PRIVATE discussion group for Atsushi Futatsuya’s current and/or past students and his active Patreon supporters.

There is no fee to attend this meeting but registration is required.

It’s an online group to share thoughts and deepen our understanding of sashiko as well as Japan and its culture while doing sashiko (unshin) together.

  • The language used in this group is ENGLISH.
  • This is a friendly discussion group and NOT a place to learn sashiko skills OR do show-and-tell of your projects.
  • Atsushi will be there (I will do my best).
  • Please consider supporting Atsushi & Keiko in Patreon where we offer 150+ articles for you to read to understand what is Sashiko for us.
  • Please use the email address you sign-up for the Online Sashiko Class or other In-Person Sashiko Workshops. We will check the eligibility before the each session.
  • I you are looking for a class to learn how to do sashiko or improve your sashiko skills, please consider learning from Atsushi: A Summary of Links @sashikostory

Is really Sashiko introduced in English “insufficient”?

When I say the key phrase for 2022 regarding our Sashiko: “Sashiko introduced in English is NOT wrong, but insufficient”, I understand some feels offended. However, I do not mean to judge or criticize those who do not understand Japanese with insufficient understanding of Sashiko. In other words, how would one understand a culture fully without talking to those who lives in the culture (here, Japanese who live in Japan). I hope that this gathering will be an opportunity for anyone to feel how “Japanese Culture” is different from our (your) ordinary & expectation. It requires to read between lines, and we will try our best to facilitate as if it is happening in Japanese manner setting.

I hope to see/meet you there.

Sashiko Workshop Schedule 2022 Cover

In-Person Sashiko Workshop Schedule 2022 to 2023

I am happy to announce, once again, the schedule of In-person Sashiko Workshops for the year of 2022, and the beginning of 2023. The pandemic hit our activities hugely as the other small businesses. We have been hesitant to actively arrange the In-person workshops. In 2022, with huge encouragement from our supporters, we are offering several In-Person workshops. This is Sashiko Workshop Schedule 2022 and I am looking forward to meeting you very much there.

*If you are learning from Sashiko Online Class & live near the workshop location, depends on the schedule, you can stop by the workshop & meet in person!

Sashiko Workshop Schedule 2022

Sashiko Workshop Schedule 2022 for both West Coast & East Coast of the United States.

West Coast (CA)

This is my first time to offer our Sashiko Workshops in West Coast (CA). I have been receiving many requests to offer the Sashiko Workshops in WA, OR, and CA. I am so happy that it is finally happening thanks to the Shibori Legend, Ms. Yoshiko Wada.

Slow Fiber Studio

*Trunk Sale of Sashiko items, and Show-and-Tell from other various artists are available on Sunday July 24. Please check their website for the details.

*MORE (Application & Practice) Workshop has a prerequisite of Atsushi’s Full-Time workshop (3 hours). Onine Sashiko Class satisfy this requirement. “Core & Essence” on the same week is also good for the prerequisite.

East Coast (New York)

Before the pandemic, I used to have Sashiko Workshops periodically in NYC thanks to many people’s support. The workshop with Yukako-san in Loop of the Loom is the last workshop we scheduled in NYC, and end up with canceling it to follow the CDC procedure. After more than 2 years, it is my pleasure to restart the workshops in NYC with Yukako-san. You may come to see me in Trunk Sale, Sashiko Exhibition and Pop-up Store of Loop of the Loom after the workshop for each day.

Loop of The Loom

*Pop-Up Store will be available from 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm for both days.

Privately Arranged Sashiko Workshop in Harrisburg Area

  • September 4th, 2022.

This workshop is arranged for a private group. If you are interested in arranging the workshop, please check the article below for the fee structure.

Sashiko Workshop Schedule in Early 2023

We still have a lot time to go, but I am so fortunate to have plans like this. I sincerely appreciate those who trust & support our Sashiko with planning so ahead.

Aya Fiber Studio

Another Great opportunity to spend 3-full days with Sashiko we practice, from Core & Essence to many ways to apply to your own project, and practice Sashiko with them. In Stuart, FL, we will have very fun, educational, and intensive 18 ~ 21 hours of stitching together. Plan your time in beautiful beach in FL with Sashiko!

Sashiko Online Class (22)

Sashiko Online Class is available for those who would like to start learning Sashiko right now from your place. After sharing Sashiko over the Internet for a while, I am confident that I can deliver the same message via Sashiko Online Class. I “restock” Sashiko Online Class in the 3rd week of each month, based on the numbers of participants who signed up for the specific period. If you find it available, there is no need to fulfill the waiting list. I am looking forward to meeting you online!

Enter Sashiko Coupon Cover

How to Enter Sashiko Coupon Code

Thank you for your interest in our Sashiko Store. Although we do not issue Coupons in regular holiday occasion, when you receive a coupon from us, please refer this website to apply the Sashiko Coupon Code.

From Web Browser

After put items you would like to order, please proceed to the Check-Out Page. Then click the link to apply the Sashiko Coupon Code.

From SmartPhone Browser

Please proceed to CheckOut page for the applying Coupon

Available Coupons Articles