July 27, 2023 at 09:41AM

I wonder how “an Artist” makes a living out of what they do. In today’s society, it is very difficult to make ends meet as a Sashiko Practitioner. To be honest, I feel it is “impossible” – not difficult. Well… it can be because of me as I have been failing from this “make a living” perspective. In fact, it is very difficult for many “craftsmen” to make ends meet. Therefore, I teach Sashiko. “Make Ends Meet by doing a Cultural Practice” significantly influences Cultural Sustainability. Therefore, I have an Online Store to keep them above the water (yet I am not so successful in this). Yes, it is true that there are many artists who make a living, too. Well, that’s another reason I do not consider myself as an Artist (which you may disagree based on our difference of definition of “Artist”).

After all, it is “Our” choice of what we value – more specifically, it is the matter of “What we want to have in the future”. I wish I can keep the “Japanese Sashiko” rather than just superficially commercialized Sashiko – and for that, I try to pay as much as I can for other Sashiko artisans & suppliers. I can do so thanks to many supporters on Patreon as well as my wife. Before 2011, I needed to carry this burden on my own – single – shoulder… and I failed myself (ourselves) in so many ways.

I, of course, blamed myself for the failure. It is true that I need to keep improving myself. However, at the same time, some of the failures were outside of my control – the trend itself pushed the local people off the stage. How many “Sashiko Supply Stores” understand what Sashiko really is? How many “Sashiko teachers” actually have done the Sashiko stitching we practice? How many “Sashiko Artists” acknowledge the long-lasting (yet vanishing/vanished) Sashiko suppliers? I wonder… What is the future for [Art and Craft]. It is us who define that for our future.


#Sashiko #刺し子


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