December 30, 2021 at 01:43PM

I often receive a request to share my idea for Cultural Appropriation (C/A). I am still learning about C/A, and nowhere close to the “expert”. However, as the one who experiences it now, I am sharing my honest feelings. The simplest point is “Acknowledgement”, not right or wrong, while many talk about the “Fairness” in C/A.

We can probably summarize one part of the issue of C/A like this: “One [appropriating] the culture that they do not belong to for their profit”. Some think that “applying the cultural perspective itself is the issue”, but I do not think like that: therefore, I say, anyone can(should) enjoy Sashiko regardless, as long as they acknowledge the stories behind it. How about profit? Many think it is the issue to make money by using foreign culture. To be honest, I am okay with that. Even if one decides to make money out of Sashiko/Boro with no connection to Japan, I won’t be in pain so much, “AS LONG AS THEY ACKNOWLEDGE the stories behind it”. We all have to make ends meet, and it is important to think about the profit if one wants to spend that much time in one practice.

“Innocent Ignorance” is one issue in C/A. However, there are much worse cases: It is “Intentional Indifference”. If you learn Sashiko from non-Japanese sources (in English), please doubt what they teach. They aren’t wrong, but insufficient (filtered with their own understanding & limited source). Usually, Japanese will not say that they know the whole thing – the more they know about the topic, the less they feel confident. When one says they know it enough, that can be “Intentional Indifference”.

“The Stories behind the Culture” aren’t only about the past. It can be happening right now. One “Appropriate” Culture in privilege (Ability of Speaking English is one privilege) can harm someone in the Culture. I have seen that, and I do not want it to be repeated. I guess that’s why I am spending so much energy on this.

Sashiko Live in English is scheduled tonight. I may talk about it more there.


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


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.