February 11, 2024 at 10:49AM

In a trend of Sashiko defined as “Visible Mending”, many get confused by another term “Boro”. I often encounter the discussion (or even definition) comparing Sashiko & Boro, saying [This is Sashiko Technique, and that is Boro Technique]. The comparison is misleading, or even “Wrong”. As you know, it is quite rare for me to say “It is wrong” – but Sashiko & Boro are not something to compare.

One of the concepts to understand both words is “Mottainai”. It requires a book to explain what it is, but in a short description, many introduced it as “too good to waste” or “Not being Wasteful”. They are good descriptions, yet still a bit simplified. The element I would add is “Mottainai is a wisdom/lesson to NOT to ignore/mislead/underestimate/waste the true value of a matter (a thing or even a person)”. For that, the current trend of Sashiko is not following the lesson of Mottainai. I share stories because I feel “Mottainai” to those who think they understand Sashiko & Boro with their own narrow definitions. I feel as if they are throwing the most delicious part of this practice.

I am NOT trying to exclude others by saying “Sashiko introduced in English is simplified & romanticized”. I really feel “Mottainai” for those who just follow someone’s marketing strategy.



#Sashiko #刺し子 #BORO


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