May 14, 2022 at 09:48AM

After a lot of reading someone’s story & conversation within myself, I now ask only one thing to avoid Cultural Appropriation (C/A) in Sashiko – it is “acknowledgement”. Please do not ignore the stories & people behind the words. I hope it isn’t too much to ask… Otherwise, a culture in the ordinary can be easily wiped out by choices of someone with power.

My approach to C/A is a bit unique. In general, I assume that C/A becomes an issue when “Copying” and “Profit” are taken due to the power balance. When I decided to speak up about C/A in Sashiko, I questioned myself about “What hurt the most (emotionally)”. The answer was “lack of acknowledgement”. I encourage you to copy what we do in Sashiko. I don’t mind someone selling “Sashiko” to make money. In a C/A with a bigger established culture (such as Kimono), copying & profiting can be an issue based on who is involved. However, for me, with Sashiko, the issue is “NOT even there yet”, because Sashiko has been “ordinary” to many Japanese people. The foundation of Sashiko exists within the Japanese mindset instead of “established foundation” like the other Japanese traditional cultures. As a result, the “lack of acknowledgement” can wipe away many things.

Copying as a loss of competitive edge. Someone’s profit as my opportunity loss. Yes, those are scary when it comes to our “future”, but I would rather you copy what we do as Sashiko & make money than someone intentionally ignoring the voice resulting in being Sashiko changed to something else completely. When I see a lack of acknowledgement (indifference) Sashiko, I feel like the whole life has been considered “valueless”. I know it is NOT, but pain from “lack of acknowledgement” can result in denying someone’s whole life. Be mindful, acknowledge it, and then enjoy Sashiko as you wish.


#Sashiko #JapaneseSashiko #刺し子


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