October 01, 2021 at 02:54PM

I learned the word “Cultural Appropriation (C/A)” in 2019 with pain. Ever since, I have been trying to educate myself. I learned that I am not alone in this. C/A is a very sensitive and broad topic to discuss. The significance relies on the person’s experience, and for that, I am a newbie in being POC (I was a majority in Japan as the Japanese). I respect the strong statement to protect the culture from Appropriation. At the same time, for Sashiko and Boro, I am on the easier side saying “Anyone can enjoy Sashiko (if they want to)”. Occasionally, I receive worrying support that someone is using the word “Sashiko & Boro” for something completely different. I am not a “police” to rule it. So, usually I ask them to mention my account to share what Sashiko is. I sometimes write a favor to them to learn more. Not Knowing itself is okay.

The C/A happens when one “ignores” and “indifference” the Cultural Content. Since C/A can be complicated, I made it as simple as possible (for now). “Not Knowing” and “Misunderstanding” are not forms of C/A to me. After “hearing” & “knowing” the cultural contents, and deciding to ignore the voice for their own purpose, or indifference it, then it becomes an issue. Sanding Fabric with Rotary and then stitching is neither Sashiko nor Boro. It can be a form of fashion saying “distressed”.  I just want them to stop using incorrect names. I respect their creativity and admire what they do with different names. However, it will be a significant issue when they decide to ignore the voice and continue calling their “purposefully sanded & stitched denim” as Sashiko/Boro for their purpose (marketing, popularity and money). 

I want you to call your stitching Sashiko since you are trying to learn what Sashiko is, regardless of how it looks. The key is in the “willingness” to learn, which is the sign of respect the culture.

会社経営&商売をしていた頃は、一年先を見据えた計画が大切でした。毎月の収支。毎日の売上。呼吸をし続けることが何よりも大切で、一年先の生存が何よりもの優先順位でした。今は30年先を見通しています。30年先に何があるかというと、娘が今の僕の歳になるのです。その時に胸を張って「刺し子はお前の文化の一部だ」と言えるような動きを、今しておきたいのです。きっとそれが、日本で刺し子をしている皆様への贈り物にもなると思うから。

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


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