January 06, 2022 at 08:29PM

When I ask the question, “What do you like about Sashiko?”, one frequent reply is about “relaxing, healing, soothing, and calming”. Yes, indeed, Sashiko is comforting. Since it is your foreign word, I want you to keep digging, though. Why is Sashiko so calming? There are 2 angles: (1) the practice itself as simple stitching and (2) something we don’t know how to explain, but exists. (1) is understandable. (2) is the missing part in Sashiko in English.

Do you know the word “Reiki”? According to Wiki, it is a form of energy healing. In my understanding, this definition is based on the “Western Reiki” that many respecting people structured as a “therapy” that anyone can learn. There are many Japanese people in Japan who practice this Western (Seiyou) Reiki. Due to a gift I received, I have many friends in this field as well. Why do Japanese practice “Western Reiki” though?

Because “Reiki” itself is(was) quite ordinary for the Japanese people. Verbalized or not, Japanese culture is applying this ordinary to our daily activities, even today. For us, Reiki is a “something invisible but exists” from spirits and Nature. Without this “expectation”, one won’t enjoy the Ghibli movie fully.

That “something (Let’s say Reiki here)” often comes from the hands (palms). Sashiko is often stitched by hand, spending so much time and “praying” in it. What if one naturally puts “Reiki” into stitching? Isn’t the Jacket one stitch becoming clothing with healing energy? This is one of many explanations why I gaze at the Sashiko stitching I like. It happens to non-Sashiko handcrafting. It isn’t only Japanese culture. Yet, when we talk about “something invisible” related to Japan, then I believe we need to keep learning what Sashiko is for Japanese people to fully understand it. I really hope one day you can touch what we make: you will find “something” is there. (The In-person workshop in FL still has some open spots. Waiting list for QuiltCon 2022.)


#Sashiko #JapaneseSashiko #刺し子 #刺し子な福袋


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