May 01, 2022 at 03:16PM

Ikigai, Umami, Kotatsu, Kakeibo… There are so many Japanese words “translated (transformed, interpreted, or sometimes even twisted)” into the English Community. Sashiko and Boro aren’t as popular as the others, but they are already establishing their own meaning – unfortunately & sadly. Wabi-Sabi, Zen, Mottainai… these are popular words often combined with Sashiko to “market” their products to get more attention. There is nothing wrong with playing with the words, but the words themselves do not describe the whole picture. When someone starts teaching the “insufficient” concepts with catchy words, the students start believing what they are learning is the “truth” in their foreign culture. That’s the danger – and often – violence over the language.

Almost all authors on Sashiko & Boro in English are (white) Western people. I wonder about many “whys”, but one of the reasons is the English language as a privilege. In cross-cultural discussion, a person needs to learn English to defend their own culture. I don’t think any of those authors can discuss (or share ideas & wisdom) about Sashiko and Boro with us in Japanese, yet they consider themselves as Sashiko (& Boro) masters? I really hope the world will realize the craziness. I am putting all of my life into Sashiko. Therefore, I learn English so hard, to defend my own identity. Please be mindful of whom you are learning from. That’s the only way to balance this craziness. (When you enjoy Sashiko for yourself, don’t worry about it. I exist for you to enjoy more without worrying about the language. If you were to teach it, be serious – otherwise it can be quite disrespectful).


#Sashiko #JapaneseSashiko #刺し子 #日本人の刺し子


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