January 21, 2023 at 05:04PM

A piece of mindfood to share. Have you thought about the “condition” when one (cultural) practice would be buried in history? Is it when the last artisan/craftsman decided to quit practicing their art/craft? Or when the artisans/craftsmen cannot make their ends by working in their profession? Both cases can be true, and there are more reasons for them to discontinue the practice… Yet many professional artisans I have met in my life told me the same “condition” – it is when their trusting “suppliers” decided to discontinue. One cultural practice can be connected like chains, and therefore I speak up for the importance of Cultural Sustainability.

I say “I don’t know how many more Sashiko Pieces we can make”. Some received this message as we may have some health conditions that may prevent us from stitching. Nope. Although we do not know what will happen tomorrow, we are okay in terms of health (it can be better… hahaha). We faced some reality of “decision to discontinue” in the challenging environment in Covid-19. We can yet have the great supplies & tools from our suppliers, but we do not take it lightly – We appreciate greatly that we can have the tools & supplies which enable us to be the artisans. Unlike the time I was working for my family business, now I stitch as if no tomorrow would come – it isn’t based on despair or pessimism – it is just appreciating the moment while doing everything we can do for now. Therefore, Sashiko is more than a technique for us – it is a way of celebrating the moment for the better of something/someone. You may know of a similar action – in your culture, it may be called “prayer”.

震災後の大槌で刺し子への価値観が変わり、その後の人生が変わりました。瞬間的に何かがあったというわけではなく、滞在期間中に出会った様々な人とのご縁の中で滲み出てきた価値観の変化です。滞在期間中、国を作る仕事をされていて何冊も出版されている元世界銀行の副総裁の方とご縁を頂きました。その際、「淳君には一つだけ決定的に足りてないものがある。何が足りてないかわかると良いね」と会話の中でご助言を頂きました。足りてなかったもの – それは「覚悟」だったと後々気がつくことになります。「覚悟」ってなんぞやという話にはなるのですが、私は今も明日も10年後も死ぬ瞬間まで刺し子のことは考えていると思います。生まれてこの方ずーっと考えてきたように。逃げずに「刺し子と生きる」という覚悟です。刺し子を楽しむ人に覚悟が必要だなんては思いません。ただ、全く覚悟がない人が「これが刺し子の答えだ」と日本人の指摘が届かない所で中途半端なことをしているのが嫌なんでしょうね。楽しむ上では覚悟なんていりません。明日飽きてもいい。いつ戻ってきてもいい。そんな「楽しい刺し子」を守る為に、この覚悟を掲げ続けようと思うのです。

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


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