March 20, 2022 at 08:26PM

The society we live encourages us to not to think. In order to stay above the deluge of information, we need to keep “following” instead of thinking, as if we need to keep swimming or the trend will wipe us away. In reality, we don’t need that much information especially when our goal is to just live (In order to be successful, learning how to swim in the deluge of information can be essential). It may be a type of delusion to make us believe we think while encouraging us to just follow.

In this account, I want you to “think”. The moments of “thinking” will navigate you to my core messages: “Imagine”, “Acknowledge”, and hopefully, “Care”. Instead of following “someone’s answer”, I want you to imagine what it would be like, especially if you are doing something outside of your ordinary.

“Inspired” is a beautiful & convenient word, but also very dangerous. It sometimes excuses us from thinking. In SNS (mainly FB), there are so many” Sashiko/Boro inspired” photos. I wonder what they are inspired by/from – because their understanding (sources of inspiration) are already interpretations of someone non-Japanese – outcome of insufficient translation, or worse: filtration. If one is willing to learn, they do not have to worry about using the words. In contrast, using “inspired” will not exempt anyone from thinking/learning about words. “Inspired” isn’t the magic word: in fact, it may be a word encouraging the possible painful change in culture, it pushes the word walking by itself. What are you inspired by/from?


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


March 16, 2022 at 10:39PM

In March, I am allocating my time in stitching as much as I can. If you are in textile (or in any craft for that matter), unfortunately, “making” itself often does not make ends meet. It is extremely difficult to make a living out of just “hand-making”. I wish I could offer a society where a Sashiko artisan can focus on just stitching. Well, all of my work here, including both stitching & sharing Stories, is to make it happen.

(Sashiko) Stitching not only mends the fabric but also ourselves. I need time to stitch for myself. For that, any kind of “hand-making” can be the remedy. Since “anything” can be the healer, I want them (the people who think they know about Sashiko) to be careful about what they spread. If one hurts others for their healing for themselves, it isn’t true healing: it can be a form of cultural extraction – or worse, exploitation.

As you know, all I am asking is “acknowledge”, and follow “care”. If one acknowledges, and then doesn’t care, I have nothing to do to them. I know we care for each other when we know: and I am here sharing stories & stitching with you. I will be on Youtube Live tomorrow, 3/17, at 9 pm EST for just stitching & sharing Stories. I hope you can make a visit.


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


March 14, 2022 at 07:57PM

I teach Sashiko in Japanese as well. As much as I often say that I am not worried about Sashiko in Japan, there are some Japanese people who wish to learn the Sashiko we practice. I start the workshop by saying, “There is no such a thing as ‘Wrong’ Sashiko” and ask them to learn our Sashiko as one perspective of Sashiko. We can share many analogies of the ordinary Japanese expectation of “No Right and Wrong”. While I started teaching Sashiko in Japanese by request, with having no idea what to teach, now the community I create has been the most comfortable place for me to be, in Japanese, with Japanese people.

I often say that “Sashiko in English is NOT wrong, but insufficient”. I am also still learning what Sashiko can be for Japanese people from the other Japanese Sashiko artisans in Japan. At the same time, it doesn’t mean that “being (fluent in) Japanese” itself won’t validate (secure) what they teach/share. Teaching comes with responsibility, and I would like to make sure that my teaching will not exclude (filter, repaint, suppress) the whole picture of Sashiko: I know it is idealistic, but since I am talking Sashiko as a culture, I would like to leave no ShoSenpaiGata (senior Sashiko artisan)’s mind behind.



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


March 11, 2022 at 08:01PM

If possible, I would like you to stop reading the following caption, and think about the following question from me. Can you think of one word lying down on the fundamentals of the Sashiko I would like to pass down? Today (March 11th) is the day for me to remember the fundamental (origin) of the Sashiko I practice. Not the Sashiko I received from other Japanese Sashiko artisans, but the Sashiko “I (as Atsushi)” would like to pass down.

I have been stitching for a while… Yet, the years of stitching weren’t as easy as one sentence. I used to consider Sashiko as my curse, and I studied so hard to “end” it with my own hands. I have changed a lot – almost the complete opposite, thanks to many people who supported, encouraged, and advised me in the last 12 years: What they had taught me is the one word I am thinking now.

It is “Pray”. The frequent words I use such as “Care” and “Acknowledgement” are more practical words to actually respect Sashiko. In A Deeper area, there is a concept of “Pray”. There are so many (little) things we can control: When we face a matter beyond control, we still don’t give up: and pray. As much as “Control” is important in this society, I would like to share the importance of “acceptance”.


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


March 10, 2022 at 10:07AM

In Japanese history, the Japanese practiced Sashiko in many places all over Japan. The Northern Part of Japan, where they had to live in harsh conditions with limited resources, is one famous region for Sashiko & similar needle work. At the same time, we can find many other places, including very Southern Part of Japan, with Sashiko Stories.

Therefore, I do not want to define what Sashiko is so easily. I do have my own definition, but when I share the definition, it comes with responsibility to share as many other stories as possible to avoid filtering. In fact (therefore), I feel there is no need to come up with the “answers” in Sashiko. This account exists for that purpose – to pass it down as is.

One significant form of Sashiko is “praying” – stitching as a practice of thinking of someone. I encourage you (who read my stories here) to call your stitching Sashiko. When you do so, please think of someone behind the words & practice. Exclusion is very opposite of what I am doing. I am trying to include as many people as possible from one form of “exclusion”, which is ruling a practice and offering the easy answers. There is no answer to pray, so is in Sashiko.




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


March 06, 2022 at 10:52AM

Some may consider me as a “gatekeeper” of Sashiko, the reason for my voices are rather primitive. I just want to protect my mother’s smile, and many smiles that my mother can initiate. In order to do so, I share stories so that I can pass down the Sashiko that makes my mother (Keiko) & our friends smile. It is as simple as that.

One of the significance in Japanese culture is “Inclusion of Difference”. The society in Japan tends to be clannish at the beginning. However, once they decide to accept, the “difference” itself isn’t the issue. Instead of trying to change the difference to be part of “the society”, they include the difference itself. (One result is the Shinto & Buddhism in one place).

Insisting on the “rules” in Sashiko is based on the Western Mindset in Commercialism. Rules exist in Sashiko, but they aren’t for restricting others. The principal of Keiko’s teaching is “No-Rule”, and I am here to support her Sashiko, which is the fundamental of the Sashiko I try to pass down. Your choice supports her & her friends directly. Your choice is the gatekeeper of Sashiko.



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


March 04, 2022 at 09:10PM

Thank you for watching Thursday Sashiko Live. “Ibasho” as a “Place (Space) to be (while stitching)” is one of the ultimate goals in passing down the Sashiko we practice. I am very happy that I am able to create such a space there on Youtube. I offer it almost every Thursday night at 9 pm EST.

After 2 big workshops in FL & QuiltCon, I received several inquiries about the fees & scheduling for me to teach Sashiko in-person. I will keep updating here if I graciously receive an offer to teach. If you know someone who may be interested in having me, or if you are the organizer, please contact us so that I can send you the fee details. It may be costly in comparison to the “crafting workshop”, but I am confident that I offer the best Sashiko Workshop in the world, from both a technical & cultural perspective.

In 2017, I didn’t know what to teach because Sashiko was so normal for me. I learned a lot in these 4~5 years. I wondered, what kind of Sashiko I was stitching back then: well… It is the same Sashiko today: and I believe that’s how it is supposed to be. I want to share the beauty of “not focusing on competition, even including toward myself, to really enjoy & appreciate” the moment.



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


February 23, 2022 at 09:23AM

I often find a big misunderstanding about my message: “he is so stubborn (resisting) to the change in Sashiko”. This isn’t true. Although I am quite stubborn in teaching, I am the opposite of “resisting” change in Sashiko. Change happens, and it is important to form culture. I welcome changes. I just want the change to be “fair” and careful.

About 20 years ago, no one (as long as I knew) had Sashiko on the Denim. Sashiko Artisans around me made fun of my choice, and they silently, but firmly, denied them as Sashiko, as they despaired Boro back then. 20 years later today, Sashiko & Denim became one popular combination. Do I dislike it as a cultural invader? No, not at all. The pain I feel is often from those who think they know about Sashiko, not from those who enjoy the possibility.

When I encountered @sashikodenim on Instagram, his photos taught me a change in trend. So did books by @miniaturerhino and @katrinarodabaugh. Some think I am fighting back against them. NOT AT ALL. I respect their interpretation, approach and willingness to learn Sashiko in many ways, including by following this account. One core value of this account is “honesty”. Therefore, you (they) may find reading the caption here quite annoying & uncomfortable. However, you accept it and keep reading/learning. As I always say, misunderstanding & not-knowing are fine. All I am fighting against is the “intentional ignorance and indifference” by those who try to choose (filter) the voice of our cultural practice. In my opinion of Sashiko & Cultural Appropriation, C/A doesn’t exist in “What they make” so much. It exists in “How they Define/Approach to” Sashiko. Acknowledge it, and avoid ignoring it. I hope it makes sense (& Thank you for following our Sashiko Story).


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


February 20, 2022 at 07:27AM

Because of my “interesting” life so far, I feel “the end (death)” by me all the time. It’s not the feeling of despair or “I want to end”, it is more like “Anything can happen” so that I have one more opportunity to achieve my mission. Sashiko Workshop/Class is one present that I receive from students to share a piece of my life. 

In order to make my ends meet, in order to support “Cultural Sustainability”, I teach for the fee. Teaching comes with responsibility, and teaching for free may make light of the “responsibility”. Of course, in an ideal world, I would like to be responsible & teach Sashiko for free, but Sustainability requires Circulation.

When my life ends & If you learn Sashiko from me, please share everything with anyone who you wish to. Share “Your” Story based on my Story, and take fees so that you can support the bigger picture of Cultural Sustainability. If you worry if you aren’t educated enough to teach Sashiko after taking my class, no worry. You are (You will be). I do not ask you to be me. I want you to pass down the Sashiko I have shared, and you have received. I sincerely appreciate @themqg for the great opportunity to teach. I am now enjoying the time of learning from others.



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


February 18, 2022 at 09:54PM

The 2nd day is completed at the #QuiltCon2022 (I am ready to go to bed after sending the follow-up emails). I am very happy to meet you (Sashiko) stitching friends, and reuniting stitching friends from my first Quiltcon. 2 years ago, I knew only a few people when I visited the QuiltCon. This year, many friends stopped by the room and shared their wonderful achievements (I can’t believe I forgot to take the photos with them. Well, I was in before/between the workshop… ). One picture with @benmillett , with the Jacket I couldn’t ask him to take a photo with. This year again! To be honest, I would never have imagined having many friends via stitching. I sincerely thank QuiltCon for making it happen. 

One more day to go. Since my workshop is between 9am to 4:30, and I do take lunch break, I have not been able to enjoy the QuiltShow itself. After clearing the workshop room, I do not have enough energy to walk around. I would like to try to be in the Exhibition tomorrow, 2/19 after the workshop, even a little bit. And then, on Sunday, again a little bit before my flight. It is a great honor to be here at QuiltCon, and I will spend another night preparing for the last workshop. 

つーかーれーるー。目の下の窪みが物語っております。ワークショップ後はそれくらい精魂尽き果てるのです。それでも2回目のキルトコンへの参加。 1回目の2020年は、ほんの数人を除いて初めて出会う方ばかりで、また全てが初めての経験でした。前回ご縁を頂いた方々が、わざわざ会いにきてくれる。これほど嬉しいことはありません。僕はまだキルティングの人間ではないですが、こうやって徐々に居場所が作れたらなと思うのです。


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