January 20, 2022 at 09:26AM

Another episode of my continuous challenge: “What is Boro, anyway?”. I will have a Thursday Youtube Live Streaming today (1/20) at 9 pm EST. Bring your own stitching project, and join via the comment section. Boro in English is interestingly transformed into something else. The culture changes, but the change should be done mindfully – not by someone who takes it for their profit in their privilege. The words aren’t someone’s marketing tools.

One of MANY surprises I had in the US is that many American people think that Sushi is a healthy choice. Yes, in comparison to fried chicken, Sushi is probably healthier even if it is topped with deep fried items. However, personally, I have never met any Japanese who “choose” Sushi as a healthy option for their dietly. In fact, some consider Sushi as a “non-healthy” choice because of the salt amount from soy sauce and rice (too much carbs). Well… it is a completely different food culture in the US because they also “soak” Sushi into soy sauce. I love Sushi in the US, don’t get me wrong. However, it has become something completely different.

This is how we only look at what we want to. In other words, the power of marketing. If one chooses the word “Sashiko” or “Boro” to market their items/services innocently, it is unfortunate for everyone on the stage: so therefore I share. Sometimes, innocence won’t justify what they do. If one intentionally “changes” the expectation the word carries, then it isn’t fair activity: especially in a privileged language like English. If they know that the Japanese wouldn’t speak up, and then re-writing the culture, it is… umm… give me the word to explain this feeling. Disgusting?

So, Boro is more than what is introduced in English now. Please learn from someone who knows what they don’t know: instead of someone who offers the “instant answers”.


#Sashiko #JapaneseBoro #刺し子 #日本人の刺し子 #襤褸 #ぼろ


January 18, 2022 at 02:23PM

I share my honest Sashiko Stories. I say that Sashiko in English isn’t wrong, but insufficient. For those who think they already know about Sashiko, my voice can be interpreted as an act of “Division” or “Fragmentation”. No, “Exclusion” is the opposite of my voice. All I am asking is to “learn” more so that they (non-Japanese) will not exclude something that already existed in Japan innocently. For that, I am trying to share the Japanese way of being consistent, or more broadly, how Japanese “Wa (Harmony)” works. “Wa” doesn’t exist in rules or extreme dualism. An act of willingness to understand more will bring us the Japanese “Wa” harmony. (Don’t get me wrong: the concept of “Wa” has also some issues…in a different way).

Insisting individualism is kind of the opposite of this “Wa”. In Western Culture, “Being Right (Justified)” is very important. In “Wa”, inclusion is much more important than being “correct”. Therefore, I often hesitate to define the words. Definition will define the “answer” and it may leave some nuance behind because of my ignorance.

Boro is NOT a technique. The question will be: “What is Boro then?”. Well, this account exists for that. Boro isn’t the word for colorful patchwork. Boro isn’t the choice of sustainable fashion. Boro isn’t an environmentally friendly textile. Those are all “outcomes” of interpretation. The interpretation done in innocence is okay: However, unfortunately, there is some intentional filtration. I do want to include those who intentionally twist the culture – since they are also a part of on-going culture. All I am doing is to pass down something that identifies myself, to someone who may appreciate it.



#Sashiko #JapaneseBoro #刺し子 #襤褸 #ぼろ


January 17, 2022 at 11:11PM

A Jacket like this takes about a year to complete, starting with “finding the best vintage fabric”. Other works can be done in much shorter time, but I no longer take commission work. (I used to, but I got tired of many inconsiderate interactions). When we become friends, I can introduce someone who I trust in Sashiko. However, unfortunately, we have only time left to make a piece for someone who cares & values what we do.Most of our items can be for sale, but most of the items are “Back-Ordered”. We are happy to take custom orders, but please be considerate. It takes months of our life.

A few Jackets per year. We don’t know how many more jackets we can make. It is our sincere pleasure for someone to “wear” it as Sashiko’s true beauty exists in its ”using” it. At the same time, if you would like to have a similar Sashiko Jacket/Denim and/or wish for our consultation, please consider taking our class – either In-Person or Online. I will probably open up the eyes, and that will answer many possible questions by itself.

I cannot answer all the questions & requests. I appreciate it, but I need to choose what I can work with in order to protect myself. I have made terrible mistakes in the past, and I cannot repeat that again to keep sharing Sashiko Stories. I wish I could be everyone’s friend here, but I am not, until I become your friend. Interacting as if I am a human is all I am asking. I am NOT a “Siri” or “Alexa” to give quick answers for instant gratification: I am a person with decent emotion carrying life-long stories & family to support.



#Sashiko #SashikoJacket #JapaneseSashiko #Hitomezashi #刺し子 #日本人の刺し子


January 16, 2022 at 09:40PM

Thanks to reactions on the previous Reel.Video editing & design aren’t my strength. I neither have the budget to hire professionals. I subscribed to Canva Pro this year, and I am impressed how “easy” it becomes. (At the same time, I am realizing how “great” professionals are…). Anyhow, I can make more “fun” videos without spending hours of investment.

Sashiko isn’t difficult. Anyone can make the Denim with Sashiko like this, especially when they learn the way we stitch. After 4 years of teaching, I am confident to say it because some of them are not Keiko’s or my work. Many rising Sashiko artisans/artists practice Sashiko to make so many beautiful items & Art.

As long as one doesn’t give up, they can get the Sashiko to our level. It usually takes about 6 hours to get it. For some, it may be 6 days to be like us. For others, it may be 6 months. However, as long as one continues, it won’t require 6 years to accomplish this. Again, one has to follow our “mindset”. Unfortunately, the other “techniques” probably won’t make this type of Denim happen – it is simply too painful to fingers, and too time-consuming with focusing on each stitch.

I teach everything in my classes. If you continue Sashiko as I introduce, you can make this type of Denim by yourself. I will be there until you can do it. I used to stitch for commission, but after all, I would like you to make the Denim like this instead of just mending it and calling it “Sashiko”. The comprehensive In-Person workshop in FL is still available. Please contact @aya_fiber_studio for the details!



#Sashiko #SashikoDenim #刺し子


January 12, 2022 at 10:09AM

Today, I woke up with a bit of ease in my mind, then I started cleaning the house more carefully than usual while doing laundry. It is good to be mindful. I completed 2 big events (workshops), and another one is 2 weeks away. I always get nervous when teaching, and I still am happy that I get nervous. However, it is also draining and it is good to have a bit of “rest” for my brain.

To be honest, for me, “In-person” workshop is easier. It is because I can “sense” the emotions of participants. Frustration, Disappointment, Excitement, and Confusion. All of them are non-verbal communication that I read & I can offer the solutions for each. Over the Internet, the way to feel “the sense” is very limited. It requires extra attention to feel it, with reading a slight different movement and atmosphere over the camera, yet it is doable. I am not only “teaching in one direction”. I would like to adjust my teaching so that everyone can “adapt” the Sashiko we practice to their ordinary fun.

My brain will be occupied with workshops again soon, until the end of QuiltCon 2022. Meanwhile, I will enjoy the Sashiko Live Streaming on Thursday at 9 pm EST, and I am planning to share about the “Marketing” and “Spirit” in Sashiko – Yes, it is an interesting combination for the topic to discuss. It will be on Youtube. Please find our channel by searching with “Sashiko Story”.


#Sashiko #JapaneseSashiko #刺し子 #日本人の刺し子


January 11, 2022 at 09:44AM

I wish I could simplify my stories into a word. Then, I can probably “market” the Sashiko better. However, “marketing“ isn’t my goal. I share the significance of Sashiko – which is not yet introduced in English. A series of stories going on and on.

“Marketing” is sophisticated human-behavior creation. Marketing is a process of “defining (addressing)” how well meet the (customer’s) expectation. It is a fundamental, yet most important, process in business (to make profit). The scary part of marketing is, though, when one doesn’t care the essence in what they are marketing, they may change “what it is” to meet the need. Another case of painful C/A. In marketing, the cathay “wording” is key. The adjectives for Sashiko may be: Traditional, Authentic, Cultural, and such. Their goal is to sell the product/service. So, one would use any words in marketing. I keep saying that the word implying the “whole”, such as comprehensive, only, ultimate, and supreme in Sashiko will be a form of Cultural Filtering – because they are not whole. Another word I find dangerous is spirit. Culture changes over time. Spirit definitively describes one’s identity. If one teaches “Spirit of ___”, one really has to understand it, or devote themselves to the practice. Otherwise… I probably don’t have to explain how (culturally) dangerous it can be.

Again, Marketing is important. I need to learn it more. At the same time, it is us who “contribute” to the marketing. When we have healthy expectations, marketing will follow that. Marketing is just a mirror of what we choose, and therefore, I am asking us to be mindful in our choices.


#Sashiko #JapaneseSashiko #刺し子 #日本人の刺し子


January 09, 2022 at 09:04PM

Another wonderful Sashiko Class big thanks to @selvedgemagazine . I sincerely appreciate their investment & support to learn from me. They listen, and try to learn although what I teach can be quite challenging, and may be even uncomfortable. I cannot teach the whole picture of Sashiko, but I am confident that I teach the essence so that they can feel that they are at the good place to start exploring. Instead of teaching “What one should do”, I introduce many choices & the foundation to make choices.

I shout out that there is no such a thing as “Rules (Right and Wrong)” in Sashiko.Meanwhile, I sometimes encounter an account (I don’t know if they exist in real life) sharing the “Rules” in Sashiko. [You should do that in authentic Sashiko…] like that kind of “teaching” to others. Of course, there are “preferences” in skills and designs based on the type of Sashiko, but they aren’t rules. When one learns the original scenery of Sashiko, they will realize: teaching filtered rules about something ordinary is, umm… ignorant.

It seems to me that the people who insist on the freedom of individual choice tend to rule others based on their (limited) values. They shout out that they need “Freedom (of choice)”, but in reality, what they want is “Convenience”. They prefer “Comfort” over “Learning”, they choose “Superficial Pleasant” over “Deep Truth” …because they have choices to do so. They have a choice to not to learn more.

In my class, there is nothing I teach based on “Just Because”. Everything I pass to them is based on my life of Sashiko Stories. Learning “Why” is extremely important to avoid cultural issues. If you learn any “rule” in Sashiko, wonder “Why” a bit. It will explain a lot about what you are learning (or not learning).


#Sashiko #JapaneseSashiko #SashikoOnlineClass #selvedgeworkshop #刺し子 #刺し子クラス


January 08, 2022 at 02:09PM

I learned that the “teaching” requires very specific skill set. Teaching requires skill. Learning also requires skill. One important quality of a good teacher is an ability to see the participants “Learning Skill (or Condition)”. We all have different expectations, preferences, and understandings in learning. In today’s society, “just telling in one direction” will not complete the “teaching”, especially to adults. For that, I am proud of my achievements in the last 4 years of my teaching. The more I offer the workshop, the better I get in teaching. All of the workshop is, for me, a one-time shot. Therefore, I get nervous. Well, I am happy that I am nervous (I will stop teaching when I do not get nervous). For that, I am serious in Sashiko — A side note. Because of my seriousness & nervousness to my workshop/classes, some workshop organizers didn’t enjoy my almost “compulsive” preparation request. Well, my goal is to pass down the Sashiko to a person who wants to learn, not to please someone around.

Anyhow. This is another weekend of me teaching Sashiko. I enjoy sharing Sashiko Stories here. When I teach “Sashiko” to someone, it gets more “comprehensive” because of the “teaching skill” I have been developing. It is okay that one learns Sashiko casually from me, but being serious in “teaching identity my life with Sashiko. Serious doesn’t mean strict or scary to students. Strict to myself.

Online Sashiko Class & In-Person 3 Days comprehensive workshops in FL are available for Jan. 2022. Join us to see what Sashiko is for us. You will see another side of “Sashiko”.




#Sashiko #SashikoWorkshop #SashikoClass #JapaneseSashiko #刺し子 #運針 #刺し子クラス


January 06, 2022 at 08:29PM

When I ask the question, “What do you like about Sashiko?”, one frequent reply is about “relaxing, healing, soothing, and calming”. Yes, indeed, Sashiko is comforting. Since it is your foreign word, I want you to keep digging, though. Why is Sashiko so calming? There are 2 angles: (1) the practice itself as simple stitching and (2) something we don’t know how to explain, but exists. (1) is understandable. (2) is the missing part in Sashiko in English.

Do you know the word “Reiki”? According to Wiki, it is a form of energy healing. In my understanding, this definition is based on the “Western Reiki” that many respecting people structured as a “therapy” that anyone can learn. There are many Japanese people in Japan who practice this Western (Seiyou) Reiki. Due to a gift I received, I have many friends in this field as well. Why do Japanese practice “Western Reiki” though?

Because “Reiki” itself is(was) quite ordinary for the Japanese people. Verbalized or not, Japanese culture is applying this ordinary to our daily activities, even today. For us, Reiki is a “something invisible but exists” from spirits and Nature. Without this “expectation”, one won’t enjoy the Ghibli movie fully.

That “something (Let’s say Reiki here)” often comes from the hands (palms). Sashiko is often stitched by hand, spending so much time and “praying” in it. What if one naturally puts “Reiki” into stitching? Isn’t the Jacket one stitch becoming clothing with healing energy? This is one of many explanations why I gaze at the Sashiko stitching I like. It happens to non-Sashiko handcrafting. It isn’t only Japanese culture. Yet, when we talk about “something invisible” related to Japan, then I believe we need to keep learning what Sashiko is for Japanese people to fully understand it. I really hope one day you can touch what we make: you will find “something” is there. (The In-person workshop in FL still has some open spots. Waiting list for QuiltCon 2022.)


#Sashiko #JapaneseSashiko #刺し子 #刺し子な福袋


January 05, 2022 at 10:24PM

I have one powerful, yet scary, question that I have been thinking for 2 years or so. The answer to the question will explain a lot of the current situation. My goal is to pass down the Sashiko we practice: I choose a vehicle to do so by Sharing Sashiko Stories. The question may identify how far the trend of Sashiko had gone (or how close it still stays) – 言葉の一人歩き – the word may have been wandring off… or even gone off. The question will clarify a lot for me.

There is no such a thing as “Right and Wrong” to this question. I do not judge any answers because that’s how they feel, react, understand, and accept. One may cause the Cultural Appropriation, but the series of C/A repaint the original color – which I need to speak up for. This question is like a diagnosis for me. Therefore, I am so scared of asking this. But, I decided to stand up and gather courage.

The Question is: “What do you like about Sashiko?”. I will try to talk about it on tomorrow’s Live Streaming, starting at 9 pm EST on Youtube.

For us, Sashiko is… umm. The Jacket Keiko made in 2015 would probably explain a bit without words?





#Sashiko #JapaneseSashiko #刺し子 #日本人の刺し子