January 27, 2023 at 10:50AM

You may have heard someone saying, “Oh, you don’t need to use the(a) thimble in Sashiko”. This is a true statement. In Sashiko, no one “needs” to use anything if that’s their preference. However, it can be quite risky to “teach” a cultural practice based on their “preference”. Here is another analogy. 

When we cook, we can cut ingredients without cutting-board. However, the cutting board will protect our hands, the counter top, and help us to cook “better”. Of course, one can choose NOT to use it, but if one teaches about cooking, “You don’t need to use a cutting board in cooking” as if they know the whole picture of cooking can be very dangerous. For me, the cutting board is the thimble we use. We need the knife to cut no matter what – as we need a needle to stitch. There are so many kinds of knives to cut different ingredients, so are the needles. 

The point of this analogy is that there are reasons & stories why cutting boards exist. We can ALWAYS find a cutting board in a store’s kitchen section. There are reasons for the thimble we use. I teach how to use the thimble, but never “force” them to keep using it after the class (I force them to use it in the class). Yet, many students keep using the thimble just because it makes sense & better in experience of the Sashiko you see here. “Choice on Preference” is great & should be respected. However, a “teaching” shouldn’t be based on someone’s preference mainly because these “preferences” can be the outcome of ignorance/indifference. Learn how to use the thimble. Try to feel the difference. Then, they can choose based on their preference. There is a HUGE gap between [I don’t (use it)] and [I can’t (use it)]. 


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


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