Sashiko Workshop [Core & Essence]

Sashiko Workshop [Core & Essence] and [Application & Practice]

In this blog entry, I would like to explain the difference in Sashiko Workshop [Core & Essence] and [Application & Practice] that I offer as of 2024.

Thanks to many interest in learning Sashiko from a group of Japanese Sashiko Artisans, we have been offering Sashiko Workshops for several years. The style & contents of Workshop slightly alternate overtime. As the result, the concentrated version of all the experience I received is now so called [Core & Essence], and everyone who wants to learn Sashiko from us are required to take this class. We offer both In-Person & Online for [Core & Essence]. I no longer offer the workshop focusing on (To be) Boro or (In)visible Mending. Instead, I combined many popular contents into one workshop – which is [Application & Practice].

*On top of these 2 Sashiko Workshop [Core & Essence] and [Application & Practice], I offer introductory Online Course with much lower pricing for affordability. Please check Domestika for more information.

*Please check this similar article to learn all courses I offer if you are interested in the Sashiko we practice.

What is Sashiko Workshop [Core & Essence]?

Sashiko introduced in English mainly teach about the “patterns” and “How to stitch” from technical perspective. Some may teach “how to make even stitches”. I occaisionally find a style of teaching “Embrace the Imperfection”. It is indeed true that we can embrace the imperfection. However, when a teacher start teaching how to be okay to be clumsy, that’s the end of “wisdom”. So, in Western way of learning, Sashiko is categorized mainly in 2 big groups: (1) to increase the participants skill to control the needle & (2) to focus on “freedom” in stitching.

Unfortunately, neither (1) nor (2) are the core of Sashiko Stitching. Because the teachers in English do not go through the proper experience in Japan, they can only interpret Sashiko from their own perspective. Their teaching isn’t wrong. However, it is missing the most important element in Sashiko for us (as a group of Japanese Sashiko Artisans).

In the minimum of 6 hours of Sashiko Workshop [Core & Essence], a participant will learn the “FORM” of Sashiko, which lead them to learn Unshin – the movement of needle. It isn’t a style of Workshop saying “Let’s enjoy Sashiko Together“. It is an intensive learning experience that some may have to go through very uncomfortable process to learn something new. We all have a muscle memory based on our experience, and some needs to go over the “habit” to have another muscle memory. After learning it, one can use the both (and more) muscle memory – but until then, it can be quite challenging time.

Therefore, I have a minimum of 6 hours for this workshop. Most of the participants find its form within 6 hours of the workshop. Rest of the participants would find their own rhythm & form after the workshop when they continue trying. It is extremely important to have this fundamental understanding of “Form & Rhythm” in our Sashiko. Therefore, [Core & Essence] is the prerequisite for Sashiko Workshop [Application & Practice], and Sashiko Japan Tour.

Analogy of [Core & Essence]

Please imagine that the Sashiko Workshop [Core & Essence] is a training for you to be able to ride a bycicle within a limited time frame with better efficiency (with less scratch & bruses). Anyone can learn how to ride a bike when they keep trying. Some may be able to do so by just watching others riding a bycicle. Others may need some expert help to get it easier. Sashiko Workshop [Core & Essence] is the expert advise for you to learn how to ride a bicycle (How to get the rhythm in Sashiko).

What is Sashiko Workshop [Application & Practice]?

Once you learn the “Form & Rhythm” in Sashiko, you are ready to explore the unlimited possibility of Sashiko. Sashiko Workshop [Application & Practice] will encourage a participant to apply the Sashiko we practice to their ordinary by covering some popular concepts such as Visible Mending (and Invisible Mending), Boro (and To Be Boro), and Designs for Sashiko. It also introduce other types of Sashiko such as Hitomezashi as an addition to the Sashiko they can practice with a lot of fun.

Analogy of [Application & Practice]

Let me explain what Sashiko Workshop [Application & Practice] is like with the Analogy I used above. When the [Core & Essence] is an opportunity to learn how to ride a bicycle, [Application & Practice] is a field trip where I take the participant to a Bike Park where we can enjoy many types of attractions for riding a bicycle. I will try to introduce as many “attractions” as possible, and the participant will have a choice of following the instructor throughout, or focus on one attraction more. So, it will be fun time when everyone have the basic understanding of how to ride a bicycle.

2 Major Category of [Application & Practice]

In the Sashiko Workshop [Application & Practice], we have 2 major Category of expanding the experiencing in Sashiko. One is “How to apply Sashiko to our ordinary days”, which includes following:

  • How to prepare the Pattern on the Fabric
  • How to complete different patterns
  • Learning of different materials for Sashiko

Another Category is “Hitomezashi“, which is completely another genre in Sashiko. For more information about the actual contents of [Application & Practice], please scroll down this article & find the detail description on what to expect from each workshops.

What is not included in our Sashiko Workshops?

As much as I have so many Sashiko that I would like to share, I know what I can do & cannot do (and what I am good at & not good at). In fact, the majority of things are something I “shouldn’t” teach. Please find some example of what I do not teach as I am not well qualified.

Category of Sashiko that I do not teach are: Koginzashi, Hishizashi, Colorful Hitomezashi on Fukin, Kugurizashi and many other new emerging Sashiko. Unfortunately, I do not have a good resource to learn these Sashiko in English. The teachers for these types of Sashiko do not speak English and/or not willing to have teaching itself. I am working on having them to offer some teaching opportunity in English with my assistance. Also, please consider joining “Sashiko Japan Tour” where I will take the participants to experience these different styles of Sashiko.

I also do not teach how to use sew up the Jackets and/or bags although we have some items available for sale from our collections. I can use a sewing machine, but very much an amature level. Please find other teachers for this purpose as there are so many better learning resources available in English.

What is the difference between 1-Day, 3-Days and 5 Days In-Person Workshop?

Depends on a Studio, Museums and Organizations, I offer different length of Workshop. When it is listed as 1-Day Sashiko Workshop, it is most likely the Sashiko Workshop [Core & Essence]. Very occasionally, I offer the Sashiko Workshop [Application & Practice] as 1 Day Workshop as the 2nd workshop the graduates of [Core & Essence]. The 1-Day Sashiko Workshop [Application & Practice] have the prerequisite of [Core & Essence], and it is clearly listed on the description. For the 1-Day [Application & Practice], the 1st part of the workshop will be “How to Apply the Sashiko to your Ordinary”, and 1nd part of the workshop will be on “Hitomezashi”.

3-Days Sashiko Workshops is one popular Workshop Style I offer. The 1st day will be [Core & Essence], then following on 2nd & 3rd day, we will move to the [Application & Practice] – usually the “How to Apply the Sashiko to ordinary” on the 2nd day and Hitomezashi on the 3rd day. Some spend 2nd & 3rd days to practice [Core & Essence] from the 1st Day, and I believe it is one good usage of this 3 days Sashiko Workshop. Once they master the [Core & Essence], the possibility of the Sashiko is infinate. 3-Days Sashiko Workshop offer the comprehensive experience of what I offer as “Japanese Sashiko we practice”.

Starting 2024 & 2025, with receiving some request, I am creating the 5-Days Sashiko Workshop. Well, it is more like “Sashiko Retreat” as the contents of these 5-Days are very similar to 3-Days Workshop from [Core & Essence] to [Application & Practice].

Amang many positive reviews for 3-Days Sashiko Workshops I receive, I find some participants prefer to spend more time in each “attractions” in the analogy above. For example, some want to focus on Invisible Mending & complete their work as much as possible in the Workshop Time Frame. 5-Days of focused stitching will have a variety of chances to be fully immersed into the Sashiko we practice. In addition to “more time to stitch together with Atsushi”, I am planning to expand the teaching focusin on Japanese Spirituality & our Ordinary (which can be an extra-ordinary practice in Western Value). So, summarizing what I am planning now, the 5-Days Sashiko Workshop will be the “Retreat” with Sashiko – to learn Sashiko & Japanese way of treating yourself better.

In Summary…

1-Day Sashiko Workshop offer the very essential time for you to learn the [Core & Essence] of our Sashiko. Ocassionally, for those who previously graduatd [Core & Essence], you may find a 1-Day compact version of [Application & Practice].

3-Days Sashiko Workshop is one comprehensive opportunity to learn the whole picture of the Sashiko we practice. With many topics to go over with Sashiko, one can have a comprehensive understanding of the Sashiko I share.

5-Days Sashiko Workshop/Retreat (In Planning) offer something more than “learning” of Sashiko. I will update more information as it gets to closer to the actual 5-Days Workshop.


I appreciate your time & interest to learn what I offer as “Workshop – Teaching Opportunity”. As I write, I feel as if what I teach is the answer to Japanese Sashiko. Please be advised that what I teach is only one part of a big picture of Sashiko as a Japanese Culture. I can share the “whole picture” of Sashiko that I have been practicing throughout [Core & Essence] and [Application & Practice]. However, it doesn’t mean that I am teaching the whole picture of Japanese Sashiko.

So, after learning [Core & Essence] of Sashiko, I want everyone to learn other styles of Sashiko – and moreover, the essence of how Japanese think, behave, and stitch. I hope that my teaching will be a great gateway to the Sashiko which in Not introduced in English yet.

Also, it sounds like that “everyone” has to take the workshop I offer to reach to [Core & Essence] of the Sashiko We practice. It isn’t true. One can reach to the realization by just watching others to stitch, like Youtube Videos I periodically offer. So, I wouldn’t say that one cannot reach to the [Core & Essence] of Sashiko wihtout taking this workshop – however, this workshop will make your understanding of Sashiko more comprehensive & deeper.

Also, your decision & commitment to learn [Core & Essence] from us directly support the sustainability of the Sashiko we practice. There are so many types & styles of Sashiko that got “wiped away” by history. Unfortunately, the Sashiko we practice is no longer the main stream of the Sashiko practice (even in Japan). In order to protect the upstream of this beautiful culture, your commitment is very much appreciated. I am pretty confident that I can offer the “Eye-Opening” experience for you.

More Details of Sashiko Workshop [Core & Essence] and [Application & Practice]

Sashiko Workshop [Core & Essence]

The workshop is an intensive learning opportunity rather than “let’s enjoy Sashiko together”. The participants will learn the important “Form” and “Mindset” of the Sashiko we have been practicing. This workshop will be the fundamentals of any following Sashiko Workshops.

  • Learn the basic of the Sashiko we practice
  • Rhythmical Running Stitching – Unshin – as the Core & Essence.
  • The appropriate posture of Sashiko stitching.
  • How to use the thimble & needle appropriately.
  • How to make even stitches
  • Hands-on Stitching Time with stitching the Asanoha pattern.

Sashiko Workshop [Application & Practice]

– and yes, we will extend it to Boro.

We will apply the Sashiko I shared on the [Core & Essence] on to the actual project such as some ordinary cloth you wear. The participants will learn the following.

  • How to prepare the fabric (Transfer the fabric / pre-stitching).
  • How to mend the garment with Sashiko mindset & ideas.
  • How to make Boro (What is Boro after all)
– then, move to Hitomezashi

The [Core & Essence] focus on students to find their own rhythm in stitching. Some styles of Sashiko require a bit of more “control” besides their own rhythm. In [Application & Practice], we will introduce a different style of Sashiko with the same form, ideas, and techniques we cover on the previous learnings.

  • Understanding Hitomezashi with Grid.
  • The Hitomezashi & Its Rhythm.
  • How to proceed with Hitomezashi.
  • How to apply Hitomezashi to future projects.
[Core & Essence] will be a very strict form of teaching as every participant are required to follow the direction of Atsushi. [Application & Practice] will be a bit more easy-going like an independent study while using the technique & understanding of Sashiko of [Core & Essence].

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