The key concept is “vehicle” as a means to bring us to the destination (goal).

Japanese Sashiko Story March 25

As I talk about Cultural Appropriation (which is probably different from what is discussed in general, so please read what I say first), I sometimes get a comment asking what they can do to respect it (avoid C/A). In Sashiko, they ask if purchasing “it (items, supplies, and tools)” from Japanese people would be respectful enough. Maybe so. That would be great. However, this is not always true. Understanding 2 categories of “business” would be more important than filtering based on the background.

The key concept is “vehicle” as a means to bring us to the destination (goal). We have to know there are 2 categories here. (1) is the one who uses Sashiko as a vehicle to reach their goal of making money. (2) is the one who uses “money” as a vehicle to reach their goal of continuing to enjoy Sashiko. My wish is to purchase “it” from those in category (2). This categorization isn’t good or bad. It is how we approach our days (ordinary).

In this society, the majority would be (1) as capitalism strongly focuses on “money”. A merchant teaches Sashiko to sell their products rather than an actual practitioner selling what they use for cultural sustainability. When the merchant misrepresents themselves as “masters”, then the C/A will happen. If they are merchants, they should be proud of being merchants.

Some accuse me of “selling” my own culture. I never say “making money” is bad. Money is necessary to keep it going. I just want the world to be mindful of the “vehicles” and “goals”, though. My goal is to pass down the Sashiko we practice, and money is the vehicle to go there. No matter how “rich” I become, I will be stitching like I do today. Be mindful whom you are purchasing from – and what they (merchants) set as their goal. What is their “vehicle” and “goal”? Don’t be fooled by words. It is often represented by their actions.


#Sashiko #刺し子


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