March 10, 2024 at 08:29AM

While re-watching Sashiko Live Streaming on 3/7, I found a great analogy spoken by mouth. It is about “Simplification of Sashiko”, and I believe it is happening to many other Cultural Practices.

Imagine that a Whole Story of Sashiko is like a big circle. When it was introduced to “Western (Non-Japanese) Culture”, people there had their own mold of how stitching should be – which was complete square. Instead of trying to accept the “Circle” as is, in order to feel comfortable (or comfortably spreading), they decided to change the “Circle” to “Square” by putting Circle into the mold. It may have been done nicely or violently, gently or forcefully. Cutting Off the 4 edges of Circle to make Square would be the easiest way to fit the square mold. So they did & their “Comfortable Sashiko” happens in their own understanding of how Sashiko should be. The cut of parts is something defined as “unnecessary” or “uncomfortable”.

Some cultures may have more complex shapes. The more irregular the shape is, the more parts would be cut off to make the complete square. I am NOT saying it is bad to mold it to their comfortable shape. I am saying it is NOT fair to define the “Cut-Off” part as “unnecessary” part of the culture, or even worse, ignore them & hide them by putting them into the trash bin. Sashiko introduced in English may be comfortable for those who wish to have the answer right away – but it is molded by someone who does not belong to the original culture. We can avoid this by being mindful & acknowledge – then we will not follow/support those who appropriate the culture.


#Sashiko #刺し子


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