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