November 01, 2021 at 11:43AM

Hours of stitching. I am not talking about hundreds of hours of stitching. Life-length of stitching, 10 thousands, 20 thousands or even more. Some, who have “choices”, criticize it as a waste of time. Even to my face, one commented on Youtube that I should get a real “job”. We have different values, and the values from our own justice. When one believes in justice, they can be extremely cruel as if they are “the answer” for the world.

Let’s say, 2 hours per day. Every day. For 60 years. That’s 40K+ hours. I was surrounded by those who had been stitching more than 50K hours of stitching in their lives. I did NOT want to be like them. For me, stitching looked boring. So, I read books to “evacuate”. I tried to study hard so I could get out of the “boring” routine. I was the one who disrespected my own roots by labeling “not so important”. Some of the Sashiko stitchers, it wasn’t a choice. It wasn’t a matter of liking it or disliked it. They did it to make ends meet: and that’s how the “ordinary” work.

I respect individual values. However, when it comes to Sashiko, which may be a foreign culture for some, I want them to start learning it by putting their value aside. They can combine their value & the Sashiko they learn later, yet without learning the foreign value to them, the true learning won’t happen. If one decides to “ignore” the foreign value to them due to the inconvenience, then the Cultural Issues happen.

Value defines who we are. What we do is based on who we are from the “culture”. By violating the culture, it could end up suppressing “who we are” as if a country colonized another country and force them to follow the new standards. We aren’t barbaric any longer, yet believing one is “right” in foreign culture can bring the similar result of colonization. What can be prevented is just our “care”: to try to learn/acknowledge.





日本が開国して150年ちょい。この間、ずっと西洋に見習おうとしていると思っています。米国に移住して根を張る僕が言うのも変ですが、西洋の正義は、必ずしも日本の正義とは一緒ではありません。良い悪いじゃなく、違う。現代、多様化が叫ばれる世の中で、「文化的な問題」とされるのは、この正義が絶対的な正解として振り翳される所にあると思っています。人は正義を掲げると想像力を失いますから。刺し子は日本的な「何か」を持っています。それは言葉にする必要がなかったものなのですが、これだけの英語圏での人気の中で、やはり誰かが言語化する必要があるんだろうなと思っています。大変だぁ。

#Sashiko #JapaneseSashiko #刺し子


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