November 09, 2023 at 11:34AM

I sometimes wonder what would be like if I didn’t decide to study in the US. If I weren’t proficient in English, all of my Sashiko Stories here wouldn’t be delivered to you. I occasionally wonder what if we didn’t have the Internet. I don’t have any agents/publishers/spokesperson who can represent me. So, what I write/say here is what exactly comes from my brain through my own hands/voice. When I was a child, I didn’t know Sashiko would be this popular – so everything I experience now is a matter of coincidence. I imagine how sad it is to lose the Sashiko I talk about here because of lack of “coincidence” – I was lucky. At the same time, there are cultures we lost due to the exact same reasons: Language & Publicity.

Majority of Sashiko Teachers in English are non-Japanese. At the same time, “Being Japanese” itself isn’t the qualification of being “a Good Sashiko Teacher”. It is a matter of “attitude” toward teaching and its responsibility. I wish I had another teacher who has been practicing Sashiko for a long time, who happened to be proficient in English. There are (and there will be) many more Japanese with English (non-Japanese) proficiency who happen to find Sashiko as their teaching materials. They probably move on when Sashiko isn’t no longer a trend. So are the other non-Japanese Sashiko Teachers. I sometimes feel I am alone in sharing the Sashiko Story – although there are a lot more like me in different fields & culture.

I say, “Copy it. Please Copy It seriously if you were to copy it”, as a reaction to so much simplification & commercialization of Sashiko. Yet, soon, I feel that we will lose “upstreams” because there are so many who do not even list where they learned from. The culture only exists in a flow, and we cannot forget it “comes from” somewhere, someone who was very serious in one practice.

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