July 10, 2024 at 11:52AM

When it comes to understanding the culture, the first important step is to realize it is almost impossible to understand other cultures fully. The only way to understand it “fully” is to be a part of culture (to live in the culture), yet it will require many (decades) of years of experience. Interestingly, for those who live in the other culture very rarely say that they do understand it. I have met many non-Japanese who have a very good understanding of Sashiko – yet, they always tell me how little they know about it. I wouldn’t trust non-Japanese who say they know all about Sashiko – especially when they do not live in Japan, or worse do not communicate in Japanese. How do they completely understand the culture without language?

When one says they fully understand Sashiko in their small group, or within leisure, I can smile. I have met many who say they know about Japan by saying “Sushi, Ninja, Harakiri…” It can be a joke, and it can even “facilitate” cross cultural communication. When it comes to “teaching”, though, it is a different story. When they teach on How Japanese is by just knowing only 3 words… Who would believe what they understand is sufficient? Interestingly, in Sashiko, we can find many “Sashiko Masters/Teachers” who claim they know about Sashiko with only limited “effort” to learn the culture. This is the trend that I cannot smile at, and the reason I try to be as difficult as possible on the Internet.

I offer opportunities to deepen the understanding such as Sashiko Classes. One is “Live Streaming” where anyone can join for free of charge. What they need is just a willingness to learn, but they do not admit the fact they don’t know. The Live is on (almost) every Thursday at 9 pm EST. I do not answer any “technical” questions, but any Cultural Questions are welcome. Now, it is a matter of “willingness to learn”, not “lack of opportunity”.


#Sashiko #刺し子


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