June 10, 2022 at 08:43PM

This weekend is the beginning of my workshop month of July starting with preparation. 4 Weeks from now, on 7/9 and 7/10 in the NYC Area with Loop of the Loom (@loopoftheloom), and then in Berkeley CA from 7/23 to 7/26 with Wada Sensei (@yoshiko_wada_) and WSN (@worldshiborinetwork). It is my pleasure to be able to share the Sashiko we practice. Please visit their website for the registration!

Regardless of the experience in Sashiko, I ask Everyone to take the “Core & Essence” Workshop (which is the same as “Online Sashiko Class (22)”. Some misunderstand that it is “Basic”. No, it is “Core & Essence”, which means the most important things in Sashiko. I ask everyone to go through this because what I teach isn’t only technique, design or simple “how to”. It is more like “a Form” to start enjoying Sashiko the way we do in SNS and on Youtube (both Live & Videos). One can learn this Form by just watching, but it can take a lot of detours – try & error. My Sashiko Workshop will short-cut the process and offer the boost of one’s Sashiko Journey. After teaching (sharing) these workshops for last 5 years, I am quite confident in what I do – many shared their positive feedback saying “it was eye-opening” and “new learning”.

If you are interested in Sashiko, please consider taking it. I offer life-long “technique & form” so that you can apply it to many craft & art & stitching projects. It is more than “Let’s Enjoy Sashiko Together” type of workshop – it is your “learning opportunity” to understand what Sashiko really is for us. I hope to meet/see you in NYC and CA in July.





2020年にキャンセルをしてから2年と少し。またNYCに戻って刺し子ワークショップを開催させて頂く運びとなりました。それに続いて、7月後半にはカリフォルニアにて。お声がけを頂けること、心から感謝です。アメリカは比較的長い夏休みがあるので、ワークショップの開催等には実は向いていない時期でもあります。このアカウントではあまり宣伝等はしないようにしているのですが、主催者の皆様にご迷惑をかけるわけには行かないので、ここから1ヶ月程、宣伝の投稿がちらほら入ってくるかと思います。NYC/SFC近辺で刺し子に興味があるぞーという知人友人をご存じでしたら、ぜひご紹介頂けると嬉しいです。最初は何を教えて良いかわからない刺し子でしたが、これだけ続けてくると、楽しんで頂ける自信がついてくるものです(全編英語です)。

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June 03, 2022 at 10:32PM

If you are new here and our Youtube Channel, you may find me stitching only (mainly) on Indigo Dyed Fabric with White Thread. Because of these visuals, you may think that I am very “traditional” and “conservative” in Sashiko. In reality, I am the opposite. I like the combination of Indigo & white thread – and I do not use this combination because I feel I need to protect the tradition. I use it because I am too lazy to think about the good color combination (I don’t take risks – I am the one who keeps eating the same menu in one specific restaurant).

A post on SNS is not enough to fully describe what we do. A video on Youtube is better than a post, but it is still not enough. Because “it” requires a series of stories, I keep speaking up – We believe that the one principal of Sashiko exists in this Jacket. Sashiko isn’t in the past yet. There are still so many skilled Japanese Sashiko Artisans. I am here to share so that I can keep supporting them.





ときどき、ふと将来が心配になることがあります。10年後、はたまた数年後、今の刺し子を中心とした生活は成り立たなくなるんじゃないかっていう不安に苛まれるのです。今も今で刺し子だけで生活が成り立っているわけではなくて、妻が大黒柱で生活費を稼いでくれて、刺し子はなんとか「持続が可能な状態」を保っているわけですが、いつそのバランスが崩れるかが不安なんです。理想は100年持続可能な土台作りなのですが、そもそも刺し子という手仕事は現代で生活の糧を得るのにはそれほど向いていないので、ふとした時に怖くなります。特に家のペンキ塗りとかしてる時は…。

この不安は、もう15年近くも付き合っている感情で、心配している状況にならないように頑張ってお仕事をしているわけですが、最終的に自分の仕事(専門)でご飯が食べられなくなる(かもしれない)というのは、本当に寂しいことです。「時代に合っていないし求められていないのだから、認めて前に進め」という論理的な助言は承知の上で、「本当に求められていないのか、いなかったのか」を言葉にし、写真や映像と共に残したいのです。その言葉や写真に共感や懐古があれば、刺し子が文化として残っている(た)明石でもあるので。

考えすぎてしまう人間の良くないところで、逆に恵子さんみたいに、直感で前に進む人に強い憧れを持つ理由です。「続くかどうかは知らん。でも、いやだからこそ、愚直にできるだけのことをする。」と針を動かし続けるのが日本人らしい姿なのかもしれません。また一目刺しのジャケットを作って頂けるようにお願いしました。とても時間がかかるジャケットですが、刺し子の本質の「用いて即ち美しい」という言葉を、言葉だ毛でなく実物と共に残せるように、大切に「お求め頂ける方」の手元に届けようと思います。久々に日本語を沢山書きました。今日の配信、色々考えるきっかけになりました。

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June 02, 2022 at 08:36PM

Sashiko Live Streaming on Youtube (SashikoStory Channel) at 9 pm EST on (almost) every Thursday.

In Cultural Contents, the language is important. In fact, the language consists of a great part of the Culture. In order to deliver the message, I am learning English. In order to understand Sashiko more, I am also learning my own language – Japanese. The Japanese language is extremely unique – and therefore, Sashiko can be unique, too. (Stitching itself isn’t unique).

My name is “Atsushi”. In Kanji, it is “淳”. The Kanji has 2 ways to read – On & Kun. For this character, for On, it is “Jun”. For Kun, it is “Atsu-i” and “Sunao”. When it comes to a person’s name – It can be, [Aki, Atsu, “Atsushi”, Kiyo, Kiyoshi, Suna, Sunao, Tadashi, Toshi, Nu, Makoto, Yosi)… and each character has meaning. For my name, it is “Caring” and/or “Simple”. Well… you judge if my parents succeeded or not, lol.

[“Sashiko – 刺し子” means little stubs] is well-known “definition” in Sashiko today. It isn’t wrong, but it cuts many layers of interpretation above. Another reason I say “Sashiko introduced in English is NOT wrong, but insufficient”. Of course, there are English words that we cannot translate well to Japanese. That’s how “different” and “difficult” it is to have cross-cultural understanding. Please keep learning instead of justifying the Instant Gratification by saying “Inspired” or “–Style”. No need to “master” Japanese to understand Sashiko. That’s what I am doing here. If they do not have time to learn Japanese, then I want them to read my stories before they “teach” Sashiko. Otherwise, it will be a dangerous action to filter (suppress) the culture.





言葉って難しいなぁと思うのです。長年の付き合いがある関係性ならまだしも、このインターネット上で関係性すら完結するような社会では、「想像力」が何よりも大切になってきます。日本語という言語は、その想像力がないとコミュニティが成り立たないようにできているように思うのです。正解や正義を導く論理的な言語というよりは、感性を大切にする言語のように思うのです。どちらが良いとか悪いとかじゃなく、「違い」です。英語に翻訳しきれない日本語があるように、日本語に翻訳しきれない英語もあります。だから物語と想像力が大切なんですよね。今日の配信もこんな感じで面倒臭い感じで進めます。是非遊びにきてください!

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June 01, 2022 at 10:39PM

A treasure has arrived! It is my sincere honor to contribute to the Pom Pom Publishing (@pompommag), big thanks to Ainur (@mamasteddybear) for including me, interviewing me, listening to me, and editing the voice from a Japanese Sashiko Artisan. The encouragement I received was very powerful. I wouldn’t have been able to write like this, for a few pages, because of the risks I fear. I write honestly here because it is my platform (my zone). When I know I will be in public, I would take a safe route. I sincerely respect their decision & team with caring & understanding. I try to learn about them – and they mean what they state. It is a great summary of my voice about Sashiko, including the sensitive topics of Cultural Appropriation & why I felt pain. It is a great Magazine & publisher!

The bigger this account grows, the more often I receive a request to write for the media. I don’t really believe the idea of “Any publicity is good publicity”, and therefore I try my best to be careful. I only work with/for the media which is willing to listen to me, instead of asking me to be part of their “already-written” article. Interestingly, those media always respect my time by offering compensation… rather than saying “Oh, some would pay to be interviewed”… We live in such a “diverse” society. Your choice creates our future. I mean it. “Your ordinary choice” is the foundation of tomorrow. I respect the media for their rules in society, and we know that media is one form of interpretation – not the answer. I hope that we can choose & support the media which knows what they are doing. Now, while reading the article, I am quite timid with my own writing. However, the article is my honest feeling, and it is what I was encouraged with. Sashiko is more than stitching – and please be mindful who you are learning Sashiko from.





英国の雑誌(Pom Pom Magazine)に寄せた文章が出版されました。とても丁寧な編集の方が私達のことを知ってくれていて、質疑応答形式で私が書いた文章に手を加え、また時には「もっと正直に書いちゃいなよ!」と背中を押して下さったりして、読み手が読みたいだろうと予測し期待される文章じゃなく、しっかりと伝える文章になっていると思います。編集して下さったからの力ですが(笑)それでも、英語で雑誌に寄稿することが続くのは、本当に不思議な気持ちです。いや、マジで高校2年まで英語嫌いだったんです。

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May 31, 2022 at 06:55PM

“Stitching reflects who the stitcher is”. In hundreds, and thousands of hours of Sashiko, stitches themselves present who does Sashiko. This is the significance of “Kata”, rhythm, and acceptance. I do not want to force anyone to follow my “definition of (answers to) Sashiko”. Instead of trying to define what Sashiko is, I want to let Sashiko (stitching) define you. This isn’t something extraordinary regardless of the culture. One with no knowledge of Sashiko in stitching can share this significance. Stitching becomes who we are, at some point of their practice.

Therefore, I say what I feel & think. I can say & write what the majority of “customers” would like to hear – but one day, they will find out the contradiction between what I say & what I stitch. Ideally, this account shouldn’t exist. The work we make speaks a lot, and the words are supplemental to the stitches. My mother, Keiko, has a bigger power to do so, and therefore she doesn’t speak up. Many other Sashiko artisans do not speak up for similar reasons. They know they exist in stitching, not “talking”. At the same time, it is extremely important to learn the best way to “deliver the message” – and that’s what I am doing on top of stitching. One day, I hope I can just go back to stitching – until then, I will keep speaking up. My dream came true (has been coming true everyday), and I keep “working” to support my mother, her friends in Sashiko, and my family here. I hope my stitching can tell you who I am. No Good or Bad. No Better or Worse. Don’t let others define who you are. When you stitch in “rhythm”, you will find yourself there.





「刺し子をしながら、楽しい時間を過ごす」というのが私の夢でした。そんな簡単なことが夢なんてと思われるかもしれないのですが、一人でずーっと刺し子をしているのと、同じ刺し子で繋がりを頂いている方と一緒に時間を共有して刺し子をするのでは大きな違いがあります。両方大事です。運針会を通して運針をお伝えする中で、「実はもう満足しているんです」と時々口にしてしまうのは、この楽しい時間を過ごせているからです。上を目指すでもなく、改善点を見つけるわけでもなく、純粋に楽しいと思える数時間を針を持って、布に触れて。刺し子の変化は受け入れるし、寧ろ変化を促す側なんだという認識はあるのですが、この一番大切な部分だけは変わって欲しくないんです。変わらないだろうと思うからこそ、変わらないように努力する必要があるんだろうなと。

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May 30, 2022 at 10:43PM

The biggest reason I keep sharing Sashiko Stories including visuals (photos/videos) is to pass down the Sashiko we practice to the next generation. This “Next Generation” isn’t really the younger generation – anyone who wishes to learn Sashiko more is the “generation” I am imagining. More selfishly & specifically speaking, it is my daughter who may (will) probably suffer in her identity – finding what her father lived for. It took 35 years for me to realize the significance of the Sashiko. I don’t know when she would be interested in that, maybe a lot later than me because of the different environment (I do not force her to stitch), and it may not happen at all. It is okay either way. I just would like to leave as many stories as possible.

In 2014, we “restarted” our Sashiko to mainly pay my mother’s bill. In 2017, we started teaching Sashiko simply because we are “asked” to do so. In 2019, I received unbearable suffering, and started learning the Pain from Emotional Labor. These years outside of Japan based on 30 years of my life in Japan helped me to realize the significance of Sashiko, more. Yes, Sashiko is beautiful. Yes, Sashiko can be meditative. Therefore, I show photos of our work. Therefore, I share time on Live Streaming. I just think, Sashiko may have sort of a “hint” to help “us” with Japanese cultural essence which has not been introduced fully.

We can find many Japanese words with “marketed” meaning – WabiSabi, Zen, Mottainai, Ikigai… those words cannot be defined (or described) in one paragraph. So is Sashiko. The reason for this account is “Story”. Please keep sharing the stories we share. We keep speaking up, stitching & making “Sashiko”.





懐かしい写真が出てきました。配信であーだこーだ言ってはいますが、全て「私(淳)の個人的なこと」だったりします。思いもあれば経験もあるし、知識もあれば理想もあります。ただ、間違いなく私というフィルターを通しての思いです。恵子さんはその面倒なフィルターが強くないので、刺し子が素直に出てくるのです。ジャケットを作る理由は着てほしいから。古布を使う理由は、もう一度布に表舞台に立ってほしいから。刺し子が好きか嫌いかという問いには、好きとか嫌いとかっていう次元じゃないと答える。そんな直球の母親の刺し子を、息子の私が解釈し、また言葉にして伝えるのが主な活動です。私自身も刺し子しますけどね。愚直すぎるほどの母親の持続可能性も考えなきゃいけないので、なかなかに歩みは遅いです。でも、少しずつ。

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May 29, 2022 at 08:02AM

As I share my Sashiko practice on Live (No editing to hide or exaggerate), I often receive some compliment on the speed of stitching on top of its evenness. Speed isn’t the priority as one’s stitching speed will increase when they learn the Kata – Form. I barely try to speed-up in regular stitching (exceptions are when I am doing experiments such as speed-run). No matter how fast it looks like I am stitching, it is all hand-stitching after all. Speed is important, but not the most important element in Sashiko. Then, is the Accuracy of Stitching the most important? No, it isn’t. The most important thing in Sashiko (or stitching) is how we “understand” the moment of stitching – Appreciation? Enjoyment? Relaxation, or even complaints? or remorse? Since stitching will require us to spend A LOT of time, I want to share the importance of taking time to be “yourself”. Don’t rush to be Happy. An instant answer provided by someone will be just an instant gratification. I want “You” to find the answer for yourself, one step at a moment.

No matter how strong my passions are for the “Sashiko Art”, stitching takes time. I can stitch for 24 hours non-stop, but the result isn’t so significant. Therefore, I teach the core of Sashiko – which is the Form of Unshin that we can focus on ourselves, not stitching results. The “(Possibly To-be) Sashiko Art” also requires a long time to complete. To be honest, I don’t know if it will be “completed”. I just will enjoy the process of being there – with new findings of both struggle and appreciation. Sashiko “became” a Hobby, and nothing wrong with that. However, there were people & stories before Sashiko as Hobby. I am sharing the stories & stitching of Sashiko that has not been introduced in English yet.





昨日の写真、英語圏の皆様から沢山のコメントを頂きました。ありがたいことです。「刺し子はアートなのか?」という”もやもや感”を抱えながらの刺し子なのですが、どうにでもなれという気持ちもあって楽しくできています。好き嫌いはあるだろうなと思いつつ。個人的には自由刺しの風呂敷よりも、よっぽどその前のカラフルな七宝デニムの方が好きだし胸を張れるのですが、反応が大きいのは自由刺しだったりしています。不思議&難しい。まぁ作家として認められたくて刺し子をしているわけじゃなく、好きで刺しているだけなので、そこはあまり深く考えないですけれど。答えがハッキリしていることが正義で、正解と間違いの線引きが強すぎるほど強い西洋の文化の中で、そこまでこの曖昧さが伝わるか。人生をかけた挑戦です。

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May 28, 2022 at 08:24AM

Remember the “Free-Hand Sashiko Stitching” Furoshiki (Wrapping Cloth) I introduced last month? It is a Sashiko project I started without preparing any patterns, lines and even the “outcome” of Sashiko. I let the needle run as I wished for hours and days. After taking the photo on 4/21, I received some “images” and I hesitated to add more free lines. The outcome gave many different impressions: It looked like many different things based on who, when and how they looked. The more I looked at, one image stuck to my brain for a long.

“That Image” reminded me of the significance of “Shippou Pattern”. The frame & vision is settled. Pattern is decided. Now, the “Color”. I will enjoy this piece for a while, and I hope this will be one piece to reconsider Sashiko as the “Art” – with my own definition of Art. I have done & will work on this piece in the Sashiko Live Streaming. Please come & join, or enjoy the archives, with your questions & comments there. I hope my message of “Sashiko is more than stitching” will spread via my words, our stories, and also via what we make.





「自由刺し」 なんて書くとお洒落な感じがしますが、要は「運針だけ楽しみたいので、柄も模様も何もかも気にせずにただ針を進める」という刺し子です。直線を刺しているつもりが途中で曲がったりするので、その曲がった線に寄り添いつつ、ひたすら運針のリズムだけを楽しんでました。その経過は配信等でご紹介しています。

4/21にご紹介した写真くらいまで刺した後に、ふと「あるイメージ」が浮かびました。抽象的なものなので、見る人によって全く違うものになっては来るのですが、私がその時に思っていたことも含めて、ある見方をしたらそのイメージから抜け出せなくなってしまいました。前向きに捉えて、そのイメージを確定させ、追加で針を走らせるのではなく、完成とする。そんな気持ちでいたのですが、「無」の部分と七宝のイメージが重なり、結果的に七宝を付け加えています。型は決まりました(というかできました)。イメージも着地点も使う柄も決まりました。あとは色。色は本当に難しいです。難しさは以前から知ってるつもりですし、だからこそ白糸に逃げる傾向にあるのですが、こうしてイメージが決まってくると、少しアート的な要素が入ってくるのでしょうか。悩みに悩んでます(笑)。何に見えるかも含めて、インスタグラムでの思いは完成した時にお話ししようと思います。ほら、うまくいかない可能性もあるわけで。配信では隠せずにガンガン話していますので、是非遊びにきてください!(アーカイブもございます!)。

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May 27, 2022 at 03:01PM

Which Sashiko thread is good? What type of thread should I use Sashiko? Even before that, what is the difference between Sashiko thread and others?

I receive many questions about Sashiko thread (and the thread we use for Sashiko). The answer is quite simple: Try to find the “stories” why Sashiko Thread is called “Sashiko” thread. The Sashiko thread we use has a series of stories, and therefore I keep saying “Thread Matters”. An appropriate Sashiko thread will give you the great result (You can purchase our Sashiko thread from @UpcycleStitches, shipped within/from the US).

“You can use whatever thread you want. Just find a similar thickness” is unfortunately a sign of ignorance – or “giving up on learning”. It is true that anyone can use any kinds of thread for stitching, but once they listen to the stories, “whatever thread is fine” became superficial. It is true that the Japanese people few hundreds years ago didn’t have the Sashiko thread we use today. However, it is also true that many Japanese Sashiko artisans have spent their life to develop the “Sashiko Thread” – it isn’t the marketing words, it is “Thread for the Sashiko we practice”. I plan to make more videos, but there are a few on Youtube already. Please learn before “whatever is fine”. *Because of big trend in Sashiko, many manufactures started producing “Sashiko” Thread. I am not qualified to talk about their Sashiko thread, but try to find their stories. Unfortunately, “being Japanese” itself doesn’t secure the credibility (which you can easily imagine in this world). Again, “Thread Matters” in Sashiko – and there are many stories for why.





本日の配信も楽しい時間を過ごせました。ご参加頂いた皆様、ありがとうございました。ふと、最近「刺し子糸」について語ってないなぁと。写真は今年の福袋に同封した「朱色」を目指した草木染め刺し子糸です。福袋を目指して&心の拠り所にして練習させて頂いたおかげで、今後も継続できそうだとのことでした(再現性は約束できないのですが)。最近、色について悩んでいます。刺し子に合う色はイメージで決まってしまうことが多いのですが、様々な方の冒険ではっと気がつくこともあります。皆様の好きな刺し子の色の合わせ(コンビ)は何ですか?

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May 26, 2022 at 10:13AM

(5/27)
While reading news & movement, I wonder what “Sustainability” really is. It is an extremely important concept – how to keep our lives sustainable. Taking one step further to care for the environment is indeed necessary. At the same time, we have to remember, “Sustainable” is NOT a magic word to paint over all the possible concerns. “Sustainability” is a great word to encourage us to care more, but the word “Sustainability” shouldn’t be an excuse to stop “thinking”. Furthermore, it is important to consider “who” is behind sustainability. If the Sustainability exists over someone’s (here in a specific group, cultural, racial, social-status, and so on) pain, then pushing the Sustainability can be a form of violence. In Sashiko, “Sustainability” was an outcome, not intention. Sashiko is indeed a form of stitching for sustainability, but “whatever recycled with stitching is Sashiko” is destroying the cultural perspective of Sashiko – which isn’t sustainable as Culture.

This materialistic & cultural sustainability is not a “multiple choice question”. Both can happen simultaneously. In fact, many movements behind the word Sustainability can happen & care for each other simultaneously when we take one step “paused” and see through the people & convenience (profit) behind it. The key word to make it happen simultaneously is “Acknowledgement”. It is my approach to Cultural Appropriation, as well. For more stories about this topic, please check my Youtube Channel. There are a few videos about this topic.





昨日の刺し子デニム。後ろから見るとこんな感じです。一本刺し抜けがあるのはご愛嬌でお許し下さい。金曜日の配信で直します!昔の曖昧な記憶で、デニムと曲線はあまり相性が良くないと思っていたのですが、今回の刺し子で想像の5倍くらい楽しむことができました。直径4cm小さい円なんです。でも、苦しくもなく、痛くもなく、楽しめました。少し七宝にハマるかもしれません。七宝は満遍なく布が強くなるから、伝統柄の中でもおすすめです。あと、麻の葉と違って重ねが少ないし。うん。

#Sashiko #JapaneseSashiko #SashikoDenim #SashikoStitching #刺し子 #日本人の刺し子 #刺し子デニム


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