May 03, 2023 at 07:34AM

While talking to many (rising) Sashiko artisans in Japan, I started seeing a boundary between what we are trying to do & what the other “Sashiko Teachers” are doing. I have been trying to explain the difference in “teaching” as a professional or as a guide. However, it didn’t explain the whole picture of struggles I feel – and now, this boundary may make more sense to me.

The “teaching” today, in many cases, have become a form of “amusement” – like an attraction in the amusement park. Let’s say that we visit a theme park of “Japanese Traditional Crafting”, and Sashiko or Boro is an attraction (a ride) to entertain the visitors. When I see today’s trend in Sashiko, it makes sense why I get so much push back (or intentional ignorance) for what I speak up. They don’t want Sashiko to be more than “a fun ride” whereas I am trying to teach them how to “drive” the ride by themselves.

Again, this isn’t a matter of good or bad. It is simply a different approach to “practice”. If they want to have fun with the ride (Sashiko), that’s perfectly fine. It is a good way to start “enjoying” it. The problem occurs when an amusement park starts advertising themselves as “the whole (teachers)” while hiding their initial purpose of “amusing visitors”. As much as I want my workshop to be a fun experience, my workshop will still be “difficult (uncomfortable)” for many people. My goal is to leave the culture & people behind. Here, in a “Sashiko Park” we try to protect, I want everyone to be able to make a “ride” – not just enjoying the ride for temporary. It exists in the “ordinary (reality)” – not the dreams.



#Sashiko #刺し子


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