July 01, 2022 at 02:19PM

We now respect “Equality” in many aspects. I am learning every day, and I feel this is a great shift in our history. Social Equality is quite important. At the same time, however, we must acknowledge that there were many types of “Inequality” in our history – in fact, more or less, even today. In Japan, when the Japanese practiced Sashiko, Gender Inequality was quite significant. Men were more privileged (like other cultures, too). Historically, Sashiko was a work for women. My struggle kicks in here because I was a man who tried to receive the practice of traditionally done by women (there is nothing wrong with men to stitch Sashiko, I am talking about the “difference” in history, not the discrimination).

Instead of justifying myself & being defensive, I have been trying to “learn”. There are, of course, things that I cannot experience due to the gender difference. However, I can try & imagine. For that, what I do is a bit contradictory because sharing “stories” by talking/writing isn’t probably the primary way to describe what Sashiko is. An ability (permission) to talk was more for those with power, and women who practiced Sashiko probably didn’t have the choice to speak up freely. Instead, they put themselves into stitching THEREFORE, some Sashiko Jackets are so powerful.

Keiko isn’t a really good at explaining things. She loves to chat, but not a story-teller. I used to be pretty quiet because “silence” can sometimes be better in our culture. The more I learn about the Western Culture, some consider “silence” as “No Voice”, which may lead to the “Non existence”. Well, we exist. We can make this kind of Jacket even today. Sashiko isn’t only in the Past. We are here – and I will follow the Western Value to preserve the Japanese Value as well.



#Sashiko #JapaneseSashiko #刺し子


June 29, 2022 at 11:54AM

In recent posts, I have been sharing the significance of the Japanese Ordinary – in which we tend to forget about Westernization, but we all had it before when we “had to” stitch. I say it “Japanese Ordinary” because I can only talk on behalf of Japanese culture. However, when we imagine, it can happen to anyone in any culture – not in today’s value system, though.

“Imagination” is more important than “answers” because there is no such a thing as “Right or Wrong”. “Dialogue” without specific purpose is more Sashiko-Like than “Discussion” to find the specific answers. Therefore, I share stories. Therefore, I do not jump into discussions in English where they are discussing what is “Right” Sashiko or not. As long as they look for the answers… I don’t think they can reach the Core anyway. In the post on 6/25, I share a photo of Furoshiki with Shippou Pattern with Square. Today, I share a whole picture of this Furoshiki. My mother Keiko received this Furoshiki from her friend who “found” this in her old drawer. She has applied some mending with other vintage fabric swatches. I want you to wonder why there are no stitches in the square. This is where “Imagination” kicks in, and the point where fabric starts talking – carrying memories, and we add stories by stitching. There is no answer for this question – why is it empty in the square – just stitching around the edges. Interestingly, Keiko and I came up with the same story. It is because we share similar values, expectations & common sense. How about you? Can you receive any stories from this Furoshiki? (I may talk about it in Live Streaming tomorrow & updated on Patreon).



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


June 24, 2022 at 12:03PM

Well… it is indeed happening: a word starts walking by itself in its trend with leaving stories behind (言葉の一人歩き). The whole purpose of this account is to “share” so that I can fulfill something filtered out by those who make profit out of “Sashiko” & “Boro”. I received comments expressing their surprise at my previous post saying that [I didn’t know the Boro has a negative aspect]. As I have explained deeply in English Live Streaming on 6/23, the word “Boro” with positive meaning is a very recent phenomena. Calling someone “Oh your Boro looks Cool” can be extremely insulting in some cases – and trend with those cultural stories behind can be quite painful to someone like me – who try to pass it down.

The trend is ongoing: The bigger, and the faster I can handle. Some advised me that “Sashiko” and “Boro” was in #SewingBee Show. It has quite a big impact in terms of publicity… but I don’t know if it will be a good one or not. Since I haven’t watched the episode, I will not talk about it at this moment. However, “Boro” introduced in English is insufficient: it is missing a lot of important essences.Although it is not my intention to summarize the essence so superficially, I couldn’t keep silence to see “Boro” being something “fancy” without any cultural contexts. To question today’s trend, I made a video on Youtube. I hope you have time to watch that.

It is NOT me who can change this trend. We don’t need to “Stop” the trend because the trend itself is good stuff – we should “recycle” and “reuse” what we have. I just want the trend to be more mindful, especially because they are using Japanese words. It is YOU who can change this trend, and therefore I keep sharing stories here so that you can learn more. Please do NOT celebrate “Boro” with ignorance. Please appreciate Boro with proper knowledge & wisdom.


#Sashiko #JapaneseSashiko #JapaneseBoro #刺し子 #襤褸


June 20, 2022 at 08:28AM

I talk about the importance of the Japanese Language in order to understand what Sashiko fully is. However, it doesn’t mean that every Japanese (anyone with fluent Japanese language skill) is well educated to define what Sashiko is. Some are using the word “Sashiko” to market themselves regardless of their language. I keep sharing “why” language is important to have the proper understanding “to teach others” about a cultural practice. However, again, it doesn’t mean that one needs to master the Japanese language to enjoy/practice Sashiko. Anyone can & should enjoy Sashiko – This account exists to fulfill the gap due to the language insufficient. Don’t simplify culture. Of course, unfortunately, there are Japanese who do not care & acknowledge Sashiko & Boro that their ancestors were practicing.

One of the most scary things about Sashiko being a trend in “West (in English)” exists in our (Japanese) subconscious mindset. We have been trained to look up West – to catch up with what the While Culture does (did). I can keep counting how much we value the Western Culture and Trend “from” West, even if it is based on our Japanese Culture. Therefore, when “Sashiko in English” is introduced to Japan, the non-Japanese Sashiko teachers may be valued more because they can say they are the “expert in Sashiko in West” even without the proper language skill. That’s how “damaged” the Japanese subconscious is… (It is a long story to explain why it has been damaged. I will talk about it on Youtube Live if you are interested).

The principle of Sashiko exists in the ordinary of the national isolation of Japan (1639~1853) – when many unique cultures & rituals are created. The culture should be altered over time. However, I believe the change has to be done with mindfulness & understanding of many stories.


#Sashiko #JapaneseSashiko #刺し子


June 17, 2022 at 10:29PM

Around 2009~2010, a few years before I “determined” to spend my life in Sashiko, Sashiko wasn’t something to enjoy at all. In much suffering, I challenged myself (ourselves) to make this type of Denim with patchworks with small pieces of fabric that no one were to use. I didn’t know the concept of SDGs. I never thought of Sustainability, yet what I was doing is exactly what the current trend indicates. In Japanese culture, our “ordinary” itself can be an action of SDGs, and for its sustainability. Therefore, I am sharing the stories of Sashiko and Japanese culture – Culture as an accumulation of voices & stories.

Several Sashiko Artisans criticized this as “Non-Sashiko” items. I believe many thought the same thing. They just didn’t verbalize it. Now, interestingly, this type of “patchwork” is known as “Sashiko”. Culture Changes. We all changes (although we dislike changes in general). Therefore, it is extremely important to keep sharing the stories so that “we” can acknowledge people & practice, instead of ignoring something foreign to maximize their profit & convenience.

I had a Good Live Streaming on the previous Thursday night (16th). The archive is on Youtube – SashikoStory Channel. I hope you would find time to listen to it so that the Sashiko we practice will be more closer to you.




#Sashiko #SashikoDenim #JapaneseSashiko #刺し子 #刺し子デニム


June 10, 2022 at 08:43PM

This weekend is the beginning of my workshop month of July starting with preparation. 4 Weeks from now, on 7/9 and 7/10 in the NYC Area with Loop of the Loom (@loopoftheloom), and then in Berkeley CA from 7/23 to 7/26 with Wada Sensei (@yoshiko_wada_) and WSN (@worldshiborinetwork). It is my pleasure to be able to share the Sashiko we practice. Please visit their website for the registration!

Regardless of the experience in Sashiko, I ask Everyone to take the “Core & Essence” Workshop (which is the same as “Online Sashiko Class (22)”. Some misunderstand that it is “Basic”. No, it is “Core & Essence”, which means the most important things in Sashiko. I ask everyone to go through this because what I teach isn’t only technique, design or simple “how to”. It is more like “a Form” to start enjoying Sashiko the way we do in SNS and on Youtube (both Live & Videos). One can learn this Form by just watching, but it can take a lot of detours – try & error. My Sashiko Workshop will short-cut the process and offer the boost of one’s Sashiko Journey. After teaching (sharing) these workshops for last 5 years, I am quite confident in what I do – many shared their positive feedback saying “it was eye-opening” and “new learning”.

If you are interested in Sashiko, please consider taking it. I offer life-long “technique & form” so that you can apply it to many craft & art & stitching projects. It is more than “Let’s Enjoy Sashiko Together” type of workshop – it is your “learning opportunity” to understand what Sashiko really is for us. I hope to meet/see you in NYC and CA in July.


#Sashiko #SashikoWorkshop #SashikoClass #刺し子


June 03, 2022 at 10:32PM

If you are new here and our Youtube Channel, you may find me stitching only (mainly) on Indigo Dyed Fabric with White Thread. Because of these visuals, you may think that I am very “traditional” and “conservative” in Sashiko. In reality, I am the opposite. I like the combination of Indigo & white thread – and I do not use this combination because I feel I need to protect the tradition. I use it because I am too lazy to think about the good color combination (I don’t take risks – I am the one who keeps eating the same menu in one specific restaurant).

A post on SNS is not enough to fully describe what we do. A video on Youtube is better than a post, but it is still not enough. Because “it” requires a series of stories, I keep speaking up – We believe that the one principal of Sashiko exists in this Jacket. Sashiko isn’t in the past yet. There are still so many skilled Japanese Sashiko Artisans. I am here to share so that I can keep supporting them.




#Sashiko #JapaneseSashiko #SashikoJacket #Hitomezashi #刺し子 #一目刺し #日本人の刺し子


June 02, 2022 at 08:36PM

Sashiko Live Streaming on Youtube (SashikoStory Channel) at 9 pm EST on (almost) every Thursday.

In Cultural Contents, the language is important. In fact, the language consists of a great part of the Culture. In order to deliver the message, I am learning English. In order to understand Sashiko more, I am also learning my own language – Japanese. The Japanese language is extremely unique – and therefore, Sashiko can be unique, too. (Stitching itself isn’t unique).

My name is “Atsushi”. In Kanji, it is “淳”. The Kanji has 2 ways to read – On & Kun. For this character, for On, it is “Jun”. For Kun, it is “Atsu-i” and “Sunao”. When it comes to a person’s name – It can be, [Aki, Atsu, “Atsushi”, Kiyo, Kiyoshi, Suna, Sunao, Tadashi, Toshi, Nu, Makoto, Yosi)… and each character has meaning. For my name, it is “Caring” and/or “Simple”. Well… you judge if my parents succeeded or not, lol.

[“Sashiko – 刺し子” means little stubs] is well-known “definition” in Sashiko today. It isn’t wrong, but it cuts many layers of interpretation above. Another reason I say “Sashiko introduced in English is NOT wrong, but insufficient”. Of course, there are English words that we cannot translate well to Japanese. That’s how “different” and “difficult” it is to have cross-cultural understanding. Please keep learning instead of justifying the Instant Gratification by saying “Inspired” or “–Style”. No need to “master” Japanese to understand Sashiko. That’s what I am doing here. If they do not have time to learn Japanese, then I want them to read my stories before they “teach” Sashiko. Otherwise, it will be a dangerous action to filter (suppress) the culture.


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


June 01, 2022 at 10:39PM

A treasure has arrived! It is my sincere honor to contribute to the Pom Pom Publishing (@pompommag), big thanks to Ainur (@mamasteddybear) for including me, interviewing me, listening to me, and editing the voice from a Japanese Sashiko Artisan. The encouragement I received was very powerful. I wouldn’t have been able to write like this, for a few pages, because of the risks I fear. I write honestly here because it is my platform (my zone). When I know I will be in public, I would take a safe route. I sincerely respect their decision & team with caring & understanding. I try to learn about them – and they mean what they state. It is a great summary of my voice about Sashiko, including the sensitive topics of Cultural Appropriation & why I felt pain. It is a great Magazine & publisher!

The bigger this account grows, the more often I receive a request to write for the media. I don’t really believe the idea of “Any publicity is good publicity”, and therefore I try my best to be careful. I only work with/for the media which is willing to listen to me, instead of asking me to be part of their “already-written” article. Interestingly, those media always respect my time by offering compensation… rather than saying “Oh, some would pay to be interviewed”… We live in such a “diverse” society. Your choice creates our future. I mean it. “Your ordinary choice” is the foundation of tomorrow. I respect the media for their rules in society, and we know that media is one form of interpretation – not the answer. I hope that we can choose & support the media which knows what they are doing. Now, while reading the article, I am quite timid with my own writing. However, the article is my honest feeling, and it is what I was encouraged with. Sashiko is more than stitching – and please be mindful who you are learning Sashiko from.

英国の雑誌(Pom Pom Magazine)に寄せた文章が出版されました。とても丁寧な編集の方が私達のことを知ってくれていて、質疑応答形式で私が書いた文章に手を加え、また時には「もっと正直に書いちゃいなよ!」と背中を押して下さったりして、読み手が読みたいだろうと予測し期待される文章じゃなく、しっかりと伝える文章になっていると思います。編集して下さったからの力ですが(笑)それでも、英語で雑誌に寄稿することが続くのは、本当に不思議な気持ちです。いや、マジで高校2年まで英語嫌いだったんです。

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


May 31, 2022 at 06:55PM

“Stitching reflects who the stitcher is”. In hundreds, and thousands of hours of Sashiko, stitches themselves present who does Sashiko. This is the significance of “Kata”, rhythm, and acceptance. I do not want to force anyone to follow my “definition of (answers to) Sashiko”. Instead of trying to define what Sashiko is, I want to let Sashiko (stitching) define you. This isn’t something extraordinary regardless of the culture. One with no knowledge of Sashiko in stitching can share this significance. Stitching becomes who we are, at some point of their practice.

Therefore, I say what I feel & think. I can say & write what the majority of “customers” would like to hear – but one day, they will find out the contradiction between what I say & what I stitch. Ideally, this account shouldn’t exist. The work we make speaks a lot, and the words are supplemental to the stitches. My mother, Keiko, has a bigger power to do so, and therefore she doesn’t speak up. Many other Sashiko artisans do not speak up for similar reasons. They know they exist in stitching, not “talking”. At the same time, it is extremely important to learn the best way to “deliver the message” – and that’s what I am doing on top of stitching. One day, I hope I can just go back to stitching – until then, I will keep speaking up. My dream came true (has been coming true everyday), and I keep “working” to support my mother, her friends in Sashiko, and my family here. I hope my stitching can tell you who I am. No Good or Bad. No Better or Worse. Don’t let others define who you are. When you stitch in “rhythm”, you will find yourself there.


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