January 02, 2024 at 08:56AM

Asano-ha (麻の葉) is one of my favorite Geometric Pattern that I often use in my Sashiko. The Pattern itself is widely used in many designs, and it is NOT a name for “Sashiko Pattern”. (There is no such a thing as “Sashiko Pattern/Design”). Often, Geometric Patterns have “motif” and “stories” behind them. So does Asano-ha, and the motif is “Hemp Leaves”.

Japanese consider Hemp (Leaves) as something “sacred” mainly used for purification in rituals. Following this story, the Asano-ha Pattern is said to be the pattern of “Repellent of Evil Spirit”. It is another reason we can find the pattern on child (infant) clothes, and often used on Semamori (as one point stitching in the form of amulets for children).

Often, this story is interpreted to “protect us” from evil existence outside. Although it is one appropriate interpretation, I have another perspective as a Sashiko Artisan who actually stitches. Sashiko with Asano-ha is a way to acknowledge “Evil Spirit” residing within. For me, it is the pattern to protect me (and around me) from something negative “inside”. To fully appreciate the practice, it is very important to accept that we have a negative side within. Many work hard to overcome the negativity while acknowledging the existence. The same thing goes to Sashiko. In Sashiko, please try not to deny the negativity too much. The force to be positive with suppressing (ignoring) the negativity isn’t true positivity. It is Okay to be negative (angry, jealous, annoyed… and such). Many misunderstand. Sashiko is NOT Zen-like. It isn’t the form of so-called “meditation”(It can be meditative, though). For some, Sashiko is a way to talk to themselves. So, should there be the “right answer” for that? Of course, not. Instead of judging yourself to be good/right saying “embrace imperfection” as an excuse, please learn the way to fully appreciate the Sashiko as stitching.


#Sashiko #刺し子 #日本人の刺し子


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