June 01, 2021 at 03:40PM

I would like to consider myself a story-teller rather than an activist for Sashiko. I thought, as a story-teller, my mission is to share a series of “new” stories. Therefore, I try to write something new in every post. However, I may have to change my view. If I am asking for a change to those with (intentional) ignorance, then what I do is more like an activist. It’s the matter of definition, but I learned the importance of sharing the “Same” stories over and over again.

I do not still consider myself an activist yet. I am NOT here to change anyone’s view. I just want to “leave” my voice so that someone (like you) will understand what `”Sashiko”would be ” when our Sashiko is wiped away by populism & commercialism. I summarized important information into videos. Please check them on our Youtube. There are NO rules in Sashiko – just respect to an origin (No rules doesn’t mean whatever is good).




#Sashiko #SashikoStory #JapaneseSashiko #SashikoStitching #Boro #JapaneseBoro #刺し子 #日本人の刺し子


May 31, 2021 at 01:50PM

One Story per day. I apologize I couldn’t accomplish it yesterday. I couldn’t get up from the bed. I haven’t been feeling well last few weeks. A story per day. It is a voice from my heart. I cannot just observe someone overpainting my memories regardless if they are good or bad. Sashiko isn’t anyone’s possession. However, my memories are my own – and everytime I acknowledge ignorance, I stop to fight back in the sorrow. If you have any issues with what I write, read my desperate messages here. Don’t read what you think I would write. I am tired of explaining myself.

Some say, “Hey, if you are in that much pain, you should stop it (sharing, teaching Sashiko, or business itself)”. I know they mean well, but that is the last knife to end me. Do I have a choice to give up sharing? Privileged people do whatever they want no matter what… so I should just observe them overrunning my culture – and my own memories?

If you are not willing to learn what Sashiko is to us, stop teaching & calling it Sashiko. (Before you react, read my insight in Cultural Appropriation with Sashiko). I have been screaming for 2 years. I will continue if I cough up the blood. My messages are my life. Do not degrade someone’s life by saying, “It is your choice”. Sashiko isn’t a choice for me. It is my life.



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


May 29, 2021 at 11:14AM

Teaching Sashiko in Western Culture always gives me an opportunity to learn how different we can be. It is the beauty of diversity, and let’s appreciate the difference. You know it by now. I do NOT intend to exclude non-Japanese from Sashiko. I want them/you to enjoy Sashiko. All I am asking is to “learn”. It isn’t always about “Right” or “Wrong”, “True” or “False”. This dualism is already a filtering system in Western Culture. If you think you know about Sashiko without the Japanese cultural/linguistic understanding, then please doubt what you know is enough. 

[Sashiko literally means “Little Stabs”.] is not a wrong statement. However, some well-educated Japanese wonder if it is satisfactory. I shared this concern a few years ago. I am still learning & researching. 

As a native Japanese who spends most of my life in Sashiko, I often wonder “Who is Sashiko for?”. Sashiko doesn’t exist for me, but my life may exist for Sashiko. Sashiko can be a remedy for social issues, but Sashiko isn’t a magic bullet for their temporary needs – with cutting & pasting a “part” of Sashiko. I am happy to share Sashiko for anyone – but Sashiko isn’t just for the Joy of people with privilege.

「刺し子はなぜ(”誰の / 何の”為に)存在するのか」。物心がついた頃からの長年の疑問です。幼少期からそれを考えていればそりゃ面倒くさい大人になりますよ(笑)でもね、考えざるを得なかったんです。「刺し子が長男としての未来だ」としてレールを敷かれ、そのレールが嫌で仕方なかったのだから。


#Sashiko #SashikoStitching #JapaneseSashiko #Boro #JapaneseBoro #刺し子 #日本人の刺し子


May 28, 2021 at 11:27AM

【Announcement for the Online Sashiko Class】

I have made this announcement several times in my other accounts (@upcyclestitches) & website (UpcycleStitches.com). Just in case, right before June 1st, here is the announcement for the Online Sashiko Class.

Due to the steep increase in Shipping Cost from Japan to the U.S. as well as some inflation, I increased the Online Sashiko Class to $330.00. I set the month of May as the adjusting period, and one may register their workshop with the previous price of $300.00 with agreeing that they will start the workshop sometime in June or later. Also, the waiting list to receive this pricing is available until 5/31. 

The goal of this Online Sashiko Class is to encourage & enable you to be able to stitch as we do. Therefore, it comes with a Live Session for me to check their learning & adjust my teaching to each individual. I set the maximum number of the students per specific period, and I believe the learning can be their life-long benefit. Once they learn it, they can use it for their life-time for their Sashiko. Since I do not plan to go back to an in-person workshop to NYC anytime soon (I may offer something in PA), please consider this Online Sashiko Class to enrich your Sashiko experience. If your goal is to have even stitches with stitching in good speed, this is a great opportunity for you (check our Youtube how we stitch). The link is available from “Story” today.


#Sashiko #SashikoWorkshop #OnlineSashikoClass #UpcycleStitches #刺し子 #運針会


May 27, 2021 at 04:29PM

I had several great feedback on my latest article on Patreon. Another analogy of my fear in “filtering” what Sashiko is – Sashiko & English as a language (it ends up with a long article…)

[He do not have many furnitures.] Don’t you feel strange? It should be [He does not have a lot of furniture.] in “standard” English. The fear I have in Sashiko is similar to having an English teacher who thinks the first sentence is “correct (a whole picture of)” English. The first sentence may be okay when the teacher uses the sentence on purpose. However, wouldn’t it be a problem (culturally filtering) if the teacher is teaching the (1) is the English, and no one around point it out? 

Language (culture) changes. I agree. I often write, [They does], when I would respect the diversity. It is a change with acknowledgement. However, don’t you feel fear when your language is filtered by someone outside of your culture with ignorance? Without even knowing the standard? This filtering probably happened in the history of “Colonization” but we don’t live in that age now – or do we face colonization when it comes to cultural matters because of the Internet? Again, the change is fine. I am saying the change shouldn’t be made by ignorance.


#Sashiko #JapaneseSashiko #SashikoStitching #Traditional #TraditionalSashiko #刺し子 #日本人の刺し子


May 26, 2021 at 10:34AM

I have never had any education in Art. If they call me an artist, what I do is Outside Art. My understanding of Art is extremely limited (I am learning little by little). Being said, does Art justify a creation over someone’s pain? A cultural pain has to be suppressed by ignorance if one shouts, “It is Art ”? 

“Inspired” is a very scary word. It can be respectful. Also, it can be a ticket to destroy the culture. A video of “artist using a rotary sander for their “Sashiko/Boro” work keeps bothering me. One may say, “the art inspired by Boro (how it looks like)”. How about the culture & stories behind how it looks? What if the newbie thinks it is Boro to “damage” the fabric on purpose? People made Boro because they didn’t have a choice but to have damaged fabric. Damaging fabric on purpose for the “looks” is completely opposite of Boro.

I am NOT saying “distressed fabric” is all wrong. It can be a part of Fashion & Art. I respect the challenge & their preference. However, then, why do they call it Sashiko/Boro? What are they inspired by? Are they so shallow & ignorant to use foreign words to get attention & more customers? If so, then it is degrading. We believed a spirit in fabric – and therefore we could make Boro. 

If you read this, and worried if you are a part of this, you are NOT. Don’t worry. The people I fear like above intentionally ignore my voice. Please, please help me to spread the voice. If a customer stops supporting these ignorance, they will move onto something different to make money. Sashiko/Boro isn’t a marketing term for non-Japanese.


#Sashiko #JapaneseSashiko #Boro #JapaneseBoro #CulturalAppropriation #刺し子 #襤褸 #ぼろ


May 25, 2021 at 11:32AM

When you are willing to pour more tea, first empty your cup. This is a very famous Zen-teaching. What I share may sound philosophical, but in reality, they are very practical. If you want to make the even stitches, do not try to stitch. Filling the “answers” requires a lot of concentration, and we can only keep concentrated for a limited time. Therefore, try not to concentrate.

In a process of translation in Sashiko, the “result” or “appearance” or “technique” of Sashiko were somewhat introduced in other languages. Unfortunately, not many people translated the core & essence of Sashiko. Therefore, I say, the Sashiko in English today isn’t wrong, but insufficient. Something very important is missing.

Our society today focuses on “results”. What we made is much more important than why we made it. Therefore, many ask for How we make them. Why do you “choose” to hand-stitch in today’s society where you can use sewing-machine? And Why do you call it “Sashiko”? (Please read/watch my view of Cultural Appropriation before you react.)


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


May 24, 2021 at 12:49PM

I am NOT sharing Sashiko Stories to change someone’s view. Sharing stories is the method of sharing a different perspective to the majority group. After all, the goal of sharing the Sashiko stories is to pass down the Sashiko with as few “cultural changes” as possible. 

We live in a society ruled by the Law. I am grateful to embrace our life under the law instead of being dominated by dictators. However, we are human with ethics & emotions outside of the law & logic. Sashiko is one of those – in order to fully understand what Sashiko is, continuous learning in Japanese ethics, courtesy, philosophy, and how the “legal system” was developed in Japan would be very important. It is almost impossible to learn them without mastering the Japanese language. Therefore, I am sharing as many stories as possible. I am not here to change how they look at Sashiko. I am here to share that the Sashiko they think they know are probably insufficient. Sashiko is easy, but not shallow – years of layers of their (our) days.



#Sashiko #JapaneseSashiko #Boro #JapaneseBoro #SashikoStitching #刺し子 #日本人の刺し子


May 23, 2021 at 03:41PM

Slowly, I am getting calmed after the 3-days workshop in FL. I enjoyed it very much. However, it was very challenging for me to prepare it under Covid, for the first 3-days workshop. I guess the accurate description would be “I’m relieved”, and it took about a week to relax.

I will go back to teaching Online again. At the same time, I hope I can start “selling” some items to achieve another goal that I had started. I end up not being able to advertise what we offer/sell in this account by focusing on Sashiko Stories. Please follow our business account, @UpcycleStitches for the pricing & what is available now. Some new Items, some new colors are waiting for my time to make their debut. 



#Sashiko #SashikoClass #SashikoWorkshop #SashikoBag #UpcycleStitches #刺し子 #運針 #運針会


May 22, 2021 at 12:55PM

This is the same Jacket in yesterday’s post. A bit different angle. Have you realized that this jacket has no “knots”? It is a single layered Jacket. What’s in the photo is mostly the “inside (hiding side)” of the Jacket. In Sashiko, the Japanese didn’t have the luxury to cover the “wrong side” with lining fabric. However, they wanted both sides to be as “clean” as possible, at least on the garment. This Jacket is made in 2021, appreciating the technique & wisdom we have received – with the same idea. No knots & making both sides of fabric as neat as possible.

There is nothing wrong if you decide to make knots in Sashiko. However, asserting that “the (whole) Sashiko uses knots to hold the stitches” is insufficient. I often read/hear, “It is Art, so we should celebrate the beauty before how it’s supposed to be” . Well… it is a true statement, but it can be only valid when this person “can do” all the techniques & and then understand the culture behind it. Otherwise, it is a form of “Innocent Happiness”. Another example of excusing themselves from learning with favoring the “Artist Taste”. They are washing off the Japaneseness from the word Sashiko/Boro… and I should be quiet? No, it is time to speak up. It may be too late, but I need to speak up so that they may “reconsider” what they are doing.


自由は大切です。ただ、自由には責任が伴います。「刺し子は◯◯だ」と断言することは、他を排除することになります。だから日本人はその表現をしてこなかった。日本文化の本質は「We (私達)」です。英語圏は「I(私)」。昔の日本人は常に自分の立ち位置をわきまえていました。現代ではそれが弊害にはなってしまっているのだろうけれど、刺し子のように「選択されて残る文化」は、その日本らしさも一緒に残すべきなんだろうと思っています。

#Sashiko #JapaneseSashiko #SashikoStitching #SashikoJacket #CulturalAppropriation #JapaneseCulture #刺し子 #日本人の刺し子