March 15, 2023 at 07:35AM

I want you to know. I want the world to know. There are quite many Sashiko “Masters” who aren’t known for it. They are all Japanese. They only speak in Japanese (as they live in Japan). With many reasons, many are willing to be anonymous. They are not recognized by “society”, and their Sashiko may be lost. Then, what is this “Society”?

We have to admit that the ticket to be part of this society is English as a language. When one doesn’t speak English, their message may be twisted, interpreted, and worse “not chosen” (lost). Then, again, who chose it? It is us who have the privilege to speak English. Some are born with this privilege. Some work hard to get the privilege. The privilege itself isn’t a matter of good or bad: it is about how we use it.

One of my goals on the coming Japan Tour is to greet some “Sashiko People” in Japan. Some of them do not consider themselves as masters like I don’t, I call them “Sashiko People”. Although they are not known for it, they are truly a part of Japanese Sashiko. I do not want their voice to be lost, or interpreted by a “translator” who doesn’t know either (or both) Japanese language and/or Sashiko Culture itself.

Just out of my curiosity, though. Let’s say Sashiko is recognized as a Japanese practice. Then, how can one really be considered as a “master” in Sashiko without the commitment to learn the language…? No need for language for having fun, but they are teaching with fees. Can I be a master of folk art in America without speaking English, without communicating in the language they speak? Absolutely not. This is why I keep asking to be mindful of who you are learning from. Teaching/Publishing comes with a great responsibility to either preserve or destroy the culture. Teaching isn’t the same as hobby, research, journalism, filming, or story-telling. “Teaching” has to be very careful.


#Sashiko #刺し子 #JapaneseSashiko


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.