July 19, 2023 at 10:31PM

Well. The comment I received in the previous post illustrate the issues of “言葉の一人歩き (A word walking itself without proper guidance)” as well as the “Power(Violence) of English” quite well. As the comment wasn’t via DM (It was left in public), please let me share what I experience as it happens quite often. (Well, this is called Emotional Labor?).

The point of the comment(s) from them is: [Why do you fuss about people using the word “Sashiko”? Be nice to everyone who uses/learns (the word of) Sashiko. Sashiko is a good word to describe a certain style] while offering advice such as [Remove as many barriers as possible].

Please be advised that I want everyone to enjoy & learn Sashiko – but not the “Filtered” Sashiko by those who swing ignorance with no understanding of Japanese language/culture. They said they wouldn’t call [a style/item] an embroidery or a quilting because Sashiko is more easily understood. Umm. Easily Understood… by whom? I don’t understand the whole picture of Sashiko yet. Here, they use the word “Sashiko” with no doubt that its meaning may be incorrect (insufficient) – Fine, I understand until this point as the Sashiko I introduce is not the main trend. The problem is that Sashiko became “something else” that a random person can spread their “ignorance” believing their understanding of the words are helpful, and worse to the point…. advising me as if I am overreacting, as if I have a barrier. This is the power of “English” I sometimes describe – that they think they know “everything” about the foreign culture/words.

I have been experiencing similar cases for the last 6 years, so I don’t engage in this type of “discussion”. I just wanted to share how the “trend” can erase the native voice by offering “advice”. Decorative mending “can” be a part of Sashiko – but the word “Sashiko” is NOT equal to the Decorative Mending. At least, my Sashiko artisans would never consider their stitching as “Decorative Mending” – So Sashiko is easily understood… by whom?


#Sashiko #刺し子


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