June 05, 2021 at 11:21AM

This is a question for non-Japanese people out of my curiosity. What is your “standard” to trust a teacher or a master? 

The work pieces, the publications, and the title (like Ph.D) are good benchmarks. However, wouldn’t you expect a master of Japanese culture to be able to speak (fluent) Japanese…? At least, I would expect a master of Western culture in Japan to be able to speak English… When I meet an authentic Italian chef, I expect them to learn from a master in Italy while living in Italy. For some reasons, in crafting, anyone seems to be a “teacher” or a “lecturer” without proper understanding of the culture. Is this because the “masters in crafting” underestimate the audience/students? I don’t understand how & why.

I do not consider myself a master/artist. I am learning how to teach & what is Art. At the same time, being Japanese does not qualify me to be a teacher/lecturer by itself. Therefore, I share stories here. Therefore, I share my “unedit version” of stitching in Live Streaming (Youtube) so that people can expect what they can learn from me. ALL of my western friends who are in a profession of Japanese Culture can speak fluent Japanese – and they all say their Japanese is nonproficient & their understanding of the culture is insufficient. I am not saying one needs to master Japanese language to enjoy Sashiko. I just don’t understand how “one” is chosen, for what qualification, to teach something they don’t know fully.

This leads to another question as well: do we all have to learn English to protect the culture from Cultural Appropriation? 

刺し子を伝える際に時々頭に思い浮かぶのが、昔のテレビ番組「マネーの虎」の一節です。「カナダを伝えるビジネスをしたい」という志願者に、「カナダには何回行ったことがあるの?」という質問に、「行ったことがありません」というやりとり。子供ながらに疑問に思ったのを覚えています。刺し子をする為に日本語を学べとは言いません(そりゃ学んでほしいですが)。ただ、日本文化としての刺し子や襤褸を教えるのであれば、そりゃ日本語で議論できるくらいにはなるべきだと思うんです。英語ができない西洋文化の専門家とかわけわからんやん。

#Sashiko #JapaneseSashiko #CulturalAppropriation #刺し子


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