June 27, 2024 at 06:43PM

A Teaching Opportunity is coming this weekend. From the preparation, I get quite nervous. Before/During the workshop, needless to say, my nervousness would skyrocket. Many encourage me by saying “Don’t Worry, You will be fine”, and “You have been doing this for years, right?”. Yes, this is my 6th year of teaching Sashiko, and I know what I will be teaching. I believe I will be fine. However, I would never be able to take it easy as it is “One Opportunity” for me where I get to deliver the message.

It may be the ◯◯th Sashiko Workshop for me. A student may be one of many to me. However, to the student, in most cases, this is their First Time to learn Sashiko from me. I have numbers of “Returning Students”, but they are rare. So, it is always my last chance to deliver. It may sound exaggerated, but I feel I put my life on the line. This is the commitment I make to Teaching. I am teaching/sharing my life there – and it is my responsibility to make sure that the chance students gave me would be inspirational, meaningful, entertaining, and “understanding (Eye-Opening)”.

Starting tomorrow, I am so excited to meet 12 new Sashiko Stitchers. I will do everything to deliver the message (including technique & mindset). Once the Workshop Starts, my mind will be always toward the “teaching”, until the moment of me saying “I hope you see now why I say Sashiko is more than stitching”. It is my mission to fill the gap that Sashiko introduced in English is missing.




#Sashiko #刺し子


June 25, 2024 at 07:12PM

Another analogy. Imagine that you visited a park with beautiful Cherry Blossoms. As you are a visitor, it isn’t so convenient to look at them closely, yet enjoyable from far – making you want to learn more about the park & tree so that you can get a better experience next Spring. Hanami – the party by locals also interested you. Then, you saw a person breaking the branch of Cherry Blossom, saying that it is easier to look at flowers, and navigate other guests to take branches together. It spread, and some even started saying that breaking branches & celebrating their own flower is how “Japanese” enjoy the Hanami Culture. You feel strange, but no one speaks up. So, you find it “okay”, and…

In the extreme case, this is how I feel about Sashiko introduced in English. In this analogy, I want YOU to enjoy the Cherry Blossom WITH the people there. I am doing everything to invite guests to meet the Local Japanese & learn how they appreciate the culture. However, because it can take time, some decided to “take” it to their personal joy, leaving the tree with unprofessional pruning, which can be fatal to the tree itself.

Our culture doesn’t exist to entertain someone’s temporary satisfaction. I want everyone to enjoy Sashiko – and the “everyone” includes the Japanese people. I believe they deserve the respect, and I am sharing the way to respect them – instead of breaking the tree for own’s instantaneous joy, I want you to enjoy the process of taking care of the tree throughout its long life.



#Sashiko #刺し子


June 24, 2024 at 09:41AM

I used to say that “When to learn” doesn’t matter in Sashiko as I receive concerns about “Bad Habit”. I never rush people to take my Class, and I still believe that the timing of learning “the technique” is pretty flexible. Everyone already has some “habit” and they somewhat need adjustment of their muscle memory.

However, I may need to change this saying for the “mindset” perspective. Unfortunately, Sashiko introduced in English is very misleading (not only simplified), and therefore the technique they develop can go in the opposite direction. I receive many questions, and I see the change in questions about how “mislead information” affects their Sashiko from a “technique” perspective.

If you are serious in Sashiko, please consider taking my Sashiko Class [Core & Essence (C/E)]. 3-Days, 5-Days, or Japan Tour include the [C/E] so any workshops are fine. I believe the cost is reasonable when we think of it as an investment to the life-time skill. I can say it with confidence now – it will be an eye-opening experience (and I will do my best to help you to adapt to the new mindset). Online Class is available, and for 2024 and 2025, I try my best to keep offering & creating the seat to join. Sashiko is “more” than stitching, and I teach what “more” is.





#Sashiko #刺し子 #運針 #Unshin


June 21, 2024 at 04:51PM

Whew. Completed this before the Workshop in MN. I will bring this as an example of “Non-Sashiko” and “To Be Boro” items to explain What is “Sashiko/Boro” to us – a group of Japanese people who have committed their lives into Sashiko.

In yesterday’s Live Streaming, I stated that “Every single piece of fabric has the potential to be Boro”. Boro isn’t something so special (although it has pretty crazy monetary value in the Art Industry). Some say that it is impossible to make “Authentic” Boro. What is “Authentic” here? It is another result of simplification & romanticism by those who think they know about Boro.

Boro isn’t the technique, or even style. It is just a “station (toward the final)” of the journey of Fabric. This Denim is NOT Boro at this point. However, when the owner keeps using the Denim, this Denim will start its own journey with carrying other stories from the fabric being part of it. When the journey continues, right before the final destination of this Denim (which can be a trash bin), it will look like “Boro” – and I would consider it as “Authentic Boro”.

I plan to start a group where I lead a better understanding. Please be part of it – and please keep educating others even if they consider themselves as “authorities“ in Sashiko. You may know better than they do.





#Sashiko #刺し子 #日本人の刺し子


June 19, 2024 at 06:12PM

I have 2 Workshop Opportunities planned for this summer. One with @textilecentermn next weekend & Another with @loopoftheloom on August 3rd and 4th (Saturday & Sunday). The one in MN is sold out at this point. However, I will be available to greet & show some samples from 12pm to 1 pm on Friday & Saturday (July 28th and 29th), while the participants are taking Lunch Break. This is my first time visiting the Midwest as a Sashiko Artisan – I am looking forward to it!

The workshop in Brooklyn Dumbo is either [Core & Essence (C/E)] 1-Day Class or 2 Days weekend Class. I believe there are several spots left. Please be advised that the 2nd day [Application & Practice (A/P)] has a prerequisite of [C/E].

Some people misunderstand that [A/P] is an advanced version of my workshop. It isn’t really so. A good analogy would be: [C/E] is an experience to learn how to ride a bicycle which you haven’t tried before. [A/P] is me taking them to the Bike Park to enjoy more attractions. Without [C/E], the fun part of [A/P] may be lost completely – so no matter how many years of experience they have, I ask them to take [C/E]. [C/E] is available as my Online Sashiko Class, which I will personally meet you on Zoom to check your learning. So if you want to take [A/P], but not available for [C/E], please consider Online Class (which I have many positive reviews of). Please note that Domestika Course isn’t equivalent to [C/E].

Thursday is Sashiko Streaming Day! I am happy to elaborate what I teach in my Classes. I will keep sharing the stories based on what I share here while showing no-edit & no-hiding stitching of me. Hope to see you there tomorrow.



#Sashiko #刺し子


June 15, 2024 at 10:26AM

Well. Such a Joyful 1st half of June. Although I would add more stitching & fabric, and then clean out the basting threads, to call it “completed”, I would need to reorganize my priority for the 2nd half of June. I mean I gotta do something for Income as I am self-employed after all.

I wouldn’t consider these Sashiko (yet), but it is fine if you do so. In fact, these types of “patchworking” are now considered Sashiko in English. All I ask is the acknowledgement that there are some Japanese Artisans who consider this non-Sashiko practice, and there are stories behind their saying.

Putting Cultural Perspective aside, I enjoy this type of Mending. For now, I gotta stop doing so for other works I do for actual “economic sustainability”, and material reasons that Denims I received as donations are all stitched. Then, one asked if I were to do so as a commission saying it would clear 2 reasons I gotta stop doing so: more plain denim to stitch with economic sustainability.

I can, of course, consider a Commission Work – but I want to do this to someone I care/like. Money is important, but I wouldn’t do so for someone who just asks “How much?”. If I were to offer, would you wear these types of Denim? Would you even pay for it? (Please be reminded that my first hope is for you to learn the Sashiko we practice by taking my class, and do it by yourself for yourself).




#Sashiko #刺し子


June 14, 2024 at 10:36AM

I was rewatching last night’s Sashiko Live, and I realized I made some misleading statements while answering the reply. Here is a clarification. I do NOT consider all teaching Sashiko in English to be “nefarious (which is the new word to me)”. In fact, I have been encouraging many English speakers to teach Sashiko if they wish. To share the further clarification, please remember the “2 types of teaching” I often specify.

One type of teaching is like “being a navigator”, like a school teacher who is knowledgeable about many things & who introduces opportunities to students. When one teaches Sashiko in this style, my intention here is to encourage & support. Therefore, I share so much content. The Second type of teaching is “being an expert”, like a professor in College with publications. This teaching comes with great responsibility. They need specific skills to pursue the topic. If a math prof says he cannot do Calculus, then no one will consider them as a teacher.

The “teaching” I find problematic is, of course, the 2nd one. The difference? The Navigator will introduce “other resources” to learn more as they specify themselves that they are only teaching a part of it. The Expert will say that what they teach is “The Answer”, and more marketing suitability, “This Teaching is all you need to learn”.

There are quite many “innocent (unknown)” who do not categorize themselves as either (1) Navigator or (2) Expert. They “can” be the issue as they will follow the answer innocently, whether it is true or not. My voice is for them in-between. It is okay to teach Sashiko in English – but specify what is their “role” in this. When they false-advertise their teaching to increase their profit, then it is a big problem… isn’t it?

You may consider me (2), yet my approach is still (1) as I don’t consider myself as “the expert”, yet someone who just learned Sashiko last year became the expert teaching “One Stop for All”. Sashiko is more than just technique & cannot be summarized to “One Stop”.


#Sashiko #刺し子


June 12, 2024 at 07:43PM

I am glad that the previous analogy of Tourism (being a Guest) clarifies my message well. Being a Guest doesn’t question one’s ability. It is just a “status” of one’s commitment. I really want you to enjoy Sashiko – and the most delicious part of Sashiko is missing now in English.

You may wonder, though. Are there really “Visitors (Guests)” who pretend they are “Local (Hosts)”? Is it that easy to maneuver someone to one specific direction? Unfortunately, in this context, anyone with English proficiency can do so. That’s how I define English as Power, or even Privilege.

In Sashiko (and many other Local & small categories of crafting), there are NOT many Experienced Artisans or Experts who are proficient in English. There are many Japanese who are proficient in English, yet the Sashiko Artisan who learn English after them being experienced in Sashiko is extremely rare. As a result, among many “Locals” who may guide Visitors well, there are no actual guides who can speak the local language enough to fully communicate the culture. For that, I may be the first one doing so in Sashiko (although I do not think I am qualified to be a guide), and therefore I feel somewhat responsible for addressing the issues. I feel quite alone in Sashiko & English, but I know I am NOT alone in the similar issues.

Once again, if you consider yourself a guest in Sashiko, Enjoy! Free your creativity, and all I ask is the acknowledgement of the Local. I am sure not everyone is happy with this analogy. I will be available for discussions on Live. There is nothing I need to hide unlike other “Pretending Guides” blocking this account. Everyone is welcome to the Live – all I want is to address the issues & protect “our Local” from Shady who takes advantage of the language imbalance.


#Sashiko #刺し子


June 11, 2024 at 08:32PM

As much as I share my concerns about “Sashiko introduced in English”, I Never say (and feel) it is painful to see people enjoying Sashiko. I really do want them, and of course you, to enjoy it. What is the difference between those whom I encourage to enjoy Sashiko & whom I identify as issues? An analogy of “Tourism” may explain it better.

I consider anyone joining Sashiko recently as a “guest” of this practice. No need to be fluent in Japanese. No pressure to understand Japanese culture. The goal is for them to have a good time with Sashiko. One day, if they decide to “be localized”, then they would be able to speak basic Japanese as it is required along with experience of “Living” there. So, everyone is a “guest” first – then, some serious commitment is required to be “a part of” it.

Now, in Sashiko (and many other cultural practices), many people become experts without spending a good amount of time. Extreme analogy, it is like me visiting “your country” for a week, and at the end of the week I start saying that I am a professional tour guide to those who come from Japan. This “instant” tour guide can “guide” other guests & change their understanding of your country.

I believe the importance of drawing a clear line between “guest (visitor)” and “host (local)”. There are so many visitors defining what Sashiko is based on what other visitors have a biased opinion. In this analogy, wouldn’t you find the line between “Fun” and “Issue”?




#Sashiko #刺し子


June 09, 2024 at 08:14PM

I enjoyed this project. It is one stop of “completion”, but another starting station of bringing it to our ordinary (using & mending). Would I keep doing the same on the other leg of this denim? Or… one leg is just enough?

I wouldn’t consider this Sashiko. At the same time, it is okay to see someone defining this project Sashiko when they acknowledge the Stories why I do not consider this Sashiko or Boro. It “can” be Sashiko or Boro, but at this point, it is just a fun project without names.

In 2024, I see a kind of “maturity” of Sashiko’s Popularity. Unfortunately, Sashiko introduced in English is simplified too much, and missing the most important part of its practice, yet too romanticized ignoring the culture (people & stories) behind. I offer a Live Streaming where I talk about Sashiko while stitching – please listen to what I need to say. Otherwise, something very important in Sashiko will be completely lost – as some non-Japanese Sashiko “masters” are intentionally erasing the cultural elements. Your willingness to acknowledge Sashiko is the only way to preserve (or even “revive”) Sashiko in English.




#Sashiko #刺し子 #SashikoDenim