September 08, 2021 at 09:03AM

“Atsushi is a hardcore on keeping the faith…” I found a comment on SNS. I know the person who wrote this. They have been supportive of what I am doing. I knew it was a compliment, but I do not think that I am a hardcore. At least, I do not want to consider myself a hardcore.

Behind the word of “hardcore”, which can be defined as “the most active, committed, or strict members of a group or movement”, there is a respect to my stories in a worrier way. I don’t compromise. I don’t butter them up. I don’t spoon feed anyone: Money or Fame will not buy my dignity out. For that, yes, I may be a warrior in Sashiko. The last Samurai to serve Sashiko. 

I appreciate the compliment. However… I wish I didn’t have to be so hardcore. I feel something wrong if one has to be a worrier to protect their own culture: my own identity. I say, “(Since they do not understand Japanese), their understanding of Sashiko/Boro is insufficient”, and ask them to learn instead of spreading what is convenient for them to make money. They say it is their “choice”. One says “please stop hurting”. The others say “I don’t think it hurts. You are over-reacting”. Then when one speaks up in pain, the person becomes a worrier. 

The compliment, “Atsushi is a hardcore” may be correct. However, I am sharing stories so that others after me do not have to be worriers to protect their own culture & identity. As I always say, if you wonder about “hurting” others in Sashiko/Boro, you are NOT. So Don’t Worry too much. There is another group who paint over “it” with their own individualism. They don’t read this because it is too true & uncomfortable for them. So, I keep sharing the stories one day the majority shifts and we do not have to the worrier. 

昔は日本の「本音と建前」が苦手でした。それでも建前は言えるように努力したし、年齢を重ねる上で「なんだかんだで、みんな本音と建前がある前提で話をしている」という形式美的なものを感じるようになりました。同時に西洋の「直接的」に見えた関係に憧れた事もあります。なんて日本は面倒なんだろうって。米国に移住して思うのは、米国程、建前が必要な文化はないということ。力関係によって建前の必要性が変わってきます。そして、米国では「英語ができない」というのは、それだけで弱者になります。それが例え日本文化を扱う議論だとしても。だからこそ、なんですよね。僕の人生を懸けた挑戦です。

#Sashiko #JapaneseSashiko #刺し子 #日本の刺し子


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