January 20, 2022 at 09:26AM

Another episode of my continuous challenge: “What is Boro, anyway?”. I will have a Thursday Youtube Live Streaming today (1/20) at 9 pm EST. Bring your own stitching project, and join via the comment section. Boro in English is interestingly transformed into something else. The culture changes, but the change should be done mindfully – not by someone who takes it for their profit in their privilege. The words aren’t someone’s marketing tools.

One of MANY surprises I had in the US is that many American people think that Sushi is a healthy choice. Yes, in comparison to fried chicken, Sushi is probably healthier even if it is topped with deep fried items. However, personally, I have never met any Japanese who “choose” Sushi as a healthy option for their dietly. In fact, some consider Sushi as a “non-healthy” choice because of the salt amount from soy sauce and rice (too much carbs). Well… it is a completely different food culture in the US because they also “soak” Sushi into soy sauce. I love Sushi in the US, don’t get me wrong. However, it has become something completely different.

This is how we only look at what we want to. In other words, the power of marketing. If one chooses the word “Sashiko” or “Boro” to market their items/services innocently, it is unfortunate for everyone on the stage: so therefore I share. Sometimes, innocence won’t justify what they do. If one intentionally “changes” the expectation the word carries, then it isn’t fair activity: especially in a privileged language like English. If they know that the Japanese wouldn’t speak up, and then re-writing the culture, it is… umm… give me the word to explain this feeling. Disgusting?

So, Boro is more than what is introduced in English now. Please learn from someone who knows what they don’t know: instead of someone who offers the “instant answers”.





明日のこれくらいの時間、金曜刺し子配信をします。今週もできるので有り難い限り。襤褸についてまた語ってみようと思います。「また(笑)?」と思われるかもしれませんが、刺し子と襤褸は切り離すことができず、襤褸が全く違うものになってしまうと、刺し子もなかなかに伝えていくのが大変でして。刺し子をしながら襤褸について思いを語る、そんな配信にできればと思っています。配信はYoutubeで。日本時間の夜10時半頃開始予定です!

#Sashiko #JapaneseBoro #刺し子 #日本人の刺し子 #襤褸 #ぼろ


via IFTTT

January 18, 2022 at 02:23PM

I share my honest Sashiko Stories. I say that Sashiko in English isn’t wrong, but insufficient. For those who think they already know about Sashiko, my voice can be interpreted as an act of “Division” or “Fragmentation”. No, “Exclusion” is the opposite of my voice. All I am asking is to “learn” more so that they (non-Japanese) will not exclude something that already existed in Japan innocently. For that, I am trying to share the Japanese way of being consistent, or more broadly, how Japanese “Wa (Harmony)” works. “Wa” doesn’t exist in rules or extreme dualism. An act of willingness to understand more will bring us the Japanese “Wa” harmony. (Don’t get me wrong: the concept of “Wa” has also some issues…in a different way).

Insisting individualism is kind of the opposite of this “Wa”. In Western Culture, “Being Right (Justified)” is very important. In “Wa”, inclusion is much more important than being “correct”. Therefore, I often hesitate to define the words. Definition will define the “answer” and it may leave some nuance behind because of my ignorance.

Boro is NOT a technique. The question will be: “What is Boro then?”. Well, this account exists for that. Boro isn’t the word for colorful patchwork. Boro isn’t the choice of sustainable fashion. Boro isn’t an environmentally friendly textile. Those are all “outcomes” of interpretation. The interpretation done in innocence is okay: However, unfortunately, there is some intentional filtration. I do want to include those who intentionally twist the culture – since they are also a part of on-going culture. All I am doing is to pass down something that identifies myself, to someone who may appreciate it.





月末と来月の出張に向けて、ずーっと花瓶の下に敷いていた襤褸を持ち出しました。米国で襤褸を紹介する時に、「実物に近いサンプルがあればいいよね」と恵子さんから受け継いだ襤褸です。布は重なり厚いのですが、摩擦には弱いので普段遣いはできません。なので花瓶の下に敷いて呼吸だけさせるようにしています(ほんとは草履とかの下の方が本質に近いと思うのですが、ほら、米国なので玄関が無くて。正面のドアを開けた所は泥まみれになるので、普通の雑巾を置いています。まぁ、襤褸の本質はその「泥まみれ」にあるとは思うのですが(笑)

襤褸の美は「刺し手の美に対する意地」だと感じると同時に、「刺し子を繰り返してりゃそれなりのものにはなる」という気楽さを感じています。というか、10年先の布の痛み具合を計算して刺し子するのは、もう芸術家の域ですしね。普通に大切に使い、必要があれば針を通す。多くの方に見て頂いて、襤褸に近い何かを感じてもらう。そんな大切な役目をこの布には背負ってもらっています。

#Sashiko #JapaneseBoro #刺し子 #襤褸 #ぼろ


via IFTTT

January 17, 2022 at 11:11PM

A Jacket like this takes about a year to complete, starting with “finding the best vintage fabric”. Other works can be done in much shorter time, but I no longer take commission work. (I used to, but I got tired of many inconsiderate interactions). When we become friends, I can introduce someone who I trust in Sashiko. However, unfortunately, we have only time left to make a piece for someone who cares & values what we do.Most of our items can be for sale, but most of the items are “Back-Ordered”. We are happy to take custom orders, but please be considerate. It takes months of our life.

A few Jackets per year. We don’t know how many more jackets we can make. It is our sincere pleasure for someone to “wear” it as Sashiko’s true beauty exists in its ”using” it. At the same time, if you would like to have a similar Sashiko Jacket/Denim and/or wish for our consultation, please consider taking our class – either In-Person or Online. I will probably open up the eyes, and that will answer many possible questions by itself.

I cannot answer all the questions & requests. I appreciate it, but I need to choose what I can work with in order to protect myself. I have made terrible mistakes in the past, and I cannot repeat that again to keep sharing Sashiko Stories. I wish I could be everyone’s friend here, but I am not, until I become your friend. Interacting as if I am a human is all I am asking. I am NOT a “Siri” or “Alexa” to give quick answers for instant gratification: I am a person with decent emotion carrying life-long stories & family to support.





母(恵子さん)と僕の二人が、沢山の方々のお力添えを頂いて形になっている私達の刺し子です。SNSの時代、誰でも気楽に繋がることができます。「敬う」という仕組みが違う場所と言語で活動していると、ある程度のフィルターはかけなければいけません。じゃないと、「おっ!そのデニム良いね!いくら?」という質問に一つずつ答える必要があり、「お前誰やねん」という僕の突っ込みだらけの日々になってしまうからです。商売が目的なら丁寧にお答えすべきところなのですが、売れりゃ何でも良いとは思っていないので。

ただ不思議なのは、日本語だと、嫌な経験がほぼゼロだということ。日本語でも失礼な人はいるだろうし、これまで幸運なだけかもしれませんが、過去3年間の積み重ねの中で、日本語のコメントやご連絡を頂くと、心が弾むのです。で、必要以上に長い返信を書くという(笑)日本語で読んでくださっている皆様にもお届けできるように工夫をしていかなきゃなぁと思うのです。

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


via IFTTT

January 16, 2022 at 09:40PM

Thanks to reactions on the previous Reel.Video editing & design aren’t my strength. I neither have the budget to hire professionals. I subscribed to Canva Pro this year, and I am impressed how “easy” it becomes. (At the same time, I am realizing how “great” professionals are…). Anyhow, I can make more “fun” videos without spending hours of investment.

Sashiko isn’t difficult. Anyone can make the Denim with Sashiko like this, especially when they learn the way we stitch. After 4 years of teaching, I am confident to say it because some of them are not Keiko’s or my work. Many rising Sashiko artisans/artists practice Sashiko to make so many beautiful items & Art.

As long as one doesn’t give up, they can get the Sashiko to our level. It usually takes about 6 hours to get it. For some, it may be 6 days to be like us. For others, it may be 6 months. However, as long as one continues, it won’t require 6 years to accomplish this. Again, one has to follow our “mindset”. Unfortunately, the other “techniques” probably won’t make this type of Denim happen – it is simply too painful to fingers, and too time-consuming with focusing on each stitch.

I teach everything in my classes. If you continue Sashiko as I introduce, you can make this type of Denim by yourself. I will be there until you can do it. I used to stitch for commission, but after all, I would like you to make the Denim like this instead of just mending it and calling it “Sashiko”. The comprehensive In-Person workshop in FL is still available. Please contact @aya_fiber_studio for the details!





先程のリールへの反応が思ったよりも大きくて吃驚しています。実は今年からCanvaというデザインツールを導入しまして、時間ができると遊ぶようにしています。ま〜、どんどん物事が簡単になりますね。テンプレートに動画を入れたら完成ですもの。だからこそ、本質がどんどん希釈されてるんでしょうね。刺し子も似たようなものなんだろうと思います。本質よりも簡単さを求める。だからこそ、僕の仕事は残っているんだと思います。

「誰でも刺し子はできる」と心底思っています。リールのビデオも僕の刺し子じゃないです(笑)僕から運針を学んでくれた方の作品。僕の針目とも並べてみてます。刺し子、楽しいですよ。

#Sashiko #SashikoDenim #刺し子


via IFTTT

January 12, 2022 at 10:09AM

Today, I woke up with a bit of ease in my mind, then I started cleaning the house more carefully than usual while doing laundry. It is good to be mindful. I completed 2 big events (workshops), and another one is 2 weeks away. I always get nervous when teaching, and I still am happy that I get nervous. However, it is also draining and it is good to have a bit of “rest” for my brain.

To be honest, for me, “In-person” workshop is easier. It is because I can “sense” the emotions of participants. Frustration, Disappointment, Excitement, and Confusion. All of them are non-verbal communication that I read & I can offer the solutions for each. Over the Internet, the way to feel “the sense” is very limited. It requires extra attention to feel it, with reading a slight different movement and atmosphere over the camera, yet it is doable. I am not only “teaching in one direction”. I would like to adjust my teaching so that everyone can “adapt” the Sashiko we practice to their ordinary fun.

My brain will be occupied with workshops again soon, until the end of QuiltCon 2022. Meanwhile, I will enjoy the Sashiko Live Streaming on Thursday at 9 pm EST, and I am planning to share about the “Marketing” and “Spirit” in Sashiko – Yes, it is an interesting combination for the topic to discuss. It will be on Youtube. Please find our channel by searching with “Sashiko Story”.





忙しい年末年始中もずっと頭にあったオンラインでの刺し子クラスが完了して、漸く一息つけた水曜日の朝です。久々に丁寧に掃除ができて満足。刺し子を教えるようになって4年。長年やってきた刺し子だからこそ「何を教えていいかわからない」状況から、「学ぶ人によって教え方を調整する」ところまで進化することができました。継続は本当に大切です。続けることでお声がけ頂けることも増えてきて、今年も様々な場所で私達の刺し子をお披露目できる予感がしています。年末年始に販売した福袋、今年は僕が宣伝にチカラをいれられなかったのもあって、まだ数点残っているようです。もう1週間くらい販売を継続し、もう少し福袋の内容物等もご紹介できればと思っています。福袋はその後、似たような商品に生まれ変わります。値段はたぶん上がるけど。柄が印刷された布も、赤い糸も、販売ができるように頑張ります!9柄の布、クッションにしても素敵だよね……と恵子さんと話をしていたら、もう完成形ができてきました。流石……事務的な仕事は全部俺が担ってるだけはあるよね。こういう面白いバランスで今年も親子二人&沢山の友達と一緒に頑張っていけたらと思っています。

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


via IFTTT

January 11, 2022 at 09:44AM

I wish I could simplify my stories into a word. Then, I can probably “market” the Sashiko better. However, “marketing“ isn’t my goal. I share the significance of Sashiko – which is not yet introduced in English. A series of stories going on and on.

“Marketing” is sophisticated human-behavior creation. Marketing is a process of “defining (addressing)” how well meet the (customer’s) expectation. It is a fundamental, yet most important, process in business (to make profit). The scary part of marketing is, though, when one doesn’t care the essence in what they are marketing, they may change “what it is” to meet the need. Another case of painful C/A. In marketing, the cathay “wording” is key. The adjectives for Sashiko may be: Traditional, Authentic, Cultural, and such. Their goal is to sell the product/service. So, one would use any words in marketing. I keep saying that the word implying the “whole”, such as comprehensive, only, ultimate, and supreme in Sashiko will be a form of Cultural Filtering – because they are not whole. Another word I find dangerous is spirit. Culture changes over time. Spirit definitively describes one’s identity. If one teaches “Spirit of ___”, one really has to understand it, or devote themselves to the practice. Otherwise… I probably don’t have to explain how (culturally) dangerous it can be.

Again, Marketing is important. I need to learn it more. At the same time, it is us who “contribute” to the marketing. When we have healthy expectations, marketing will follow that. Marketing is just a mirror of what we choose, and therefore, I am asking us to be mindful in our choices.





刺し子が英語で紹介される時、様々な形容詞が一緒についてきます。「伝統的な」とか「日本由来の」とか。その方が売れるから。ある程度は笑ってみていられるのですが、「唯一の(究極の)」という形容詞は許容できないと長年言葉にしてきました。最近見かけたのが、「○○のスピリットを教える」という宣伝文句。○○に入る言葉は配信でお伝えしますが、いやはや驚きました。相当危ない表現だと思うのよね。伝統とか文化は変化します。だからある程度は理解できる。でも、魂は不変のものです。それを教えるのは…その魂を持つ人しか許されないんじゃないかと思うんですよね。まだまだ俺も勉強ですね。写真は現在進行形の100mの麻の葉です。まだ途中なので、刺し抜けは見逃して下さい(笑)

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


via IFTTT

January 09, 2022 at 09:04PM

Another wonderful Sashiko Class big thanks to @selvedgemagazine . I sincerely appreciate their investment & support to learn from me. They listen, and try to learn although what I teach can be quite challenging, and may be even uncomfortable. I cannot teach the whole picture of Sashiko, but I am confident that I teach the essence so that they can feel that they are at the good place to start exploring. Instead of teaching “What one should do”, I introduce many choices & the foundation to make choices.

I shout out that there is no such a thing as “Rules (Right and Wrong)” in Sashiko.Meanwhile, I sometimes encounter an account (I don’t know if they exist in real life) sharing the “Rules” in Sashiko. [You should do that in authentic Sashiko…] like that kind of “teaching” to others. Of course, there are “preferences” in skills and designs based on the type of Sashiko, but they aren’t rules. When one learns the original scenery of Sashiko, they will realize: teaching filtered rules about something ordinary is, umm… ignorant.

It seems to me that the people who insist on the freedom of individual choice tend to rule others based on their (limited) values. They shout out that they need “Freedom (of choice)”, but in reality, what they want is “Convenience”. They prefer “Comfort” over “Learning”, they choose “Superficial Pleasant” over “Deep Truth” …because they have choices to do so. They have a choice to not to learn more.

In my class, there is nothing I teach based on “Just Because”. Everything I pass to them is based on my life of Sashiko Stories. Learning “Why” is extremely important to avoid cultural issues. If you learn any “rule” in Sashiko, wonder “Why” a bit. It will explain a lot about what you are learning (or not learning).





ワークショップの週末でした。毎回が真剣勝負なので、相当に疲れます。終わった後は放心状態で動けない程に。4年続けてきて、これまで一度も写真を上手に撮れたことがない程に。頂いた役目が終わって思うのは、こうして「学びたい」と思ってくれる人々の存在です。個人の選択肢が最重要視される世の中で、わざわざお金を払って時間を費やして、「もしかしたら苦しいこと」を学ぶのは、並大抵のことではありません。ネットで学びたい所だけを摘まんで学んだ気になれば気持ち良いですから。そうやって真剣同士が時間を費やしてこそ、大切なものが残せるんだと信じています。日本語でも3月以降に運針会を再開します。ご縁があれば幸いです。

#Sashiko #JapaneseSashiko #SashikoOnlineClass #selvedgeworkshop #刺し子 #刺し子クラス


via IFTTT

January 08, 2022 at 02:09PM

I learned that the “teaching” requires very specific skill set. Teaching requires skill. Learning also requires skill. One important quality of a good teacher is an ability to see the participants “Learning Skill (or Condition)”. We all have different expectations, preferences, and understandings in learning. In today’s society, “just telling in one direction” will not complete the “teaching”, especially to adults. For that, I am proud of my achievements in the last 4 years of my teaching. The more I offer the workshop, the better I get in teaching. All of the workshop is, for me, a one-time shot. Therefore, I get nervous. Well, I am happy that I am nervous (I will stop teaching when I do not get nervous). For that, I am serious in Sashiko — A side note. Because of my seriousness & nervousness to my workshop/classes, some workshop organizers didn’t enjoy my almost “compulsive” preparation request. Well, my goal is to pass down the Sashiko to a person who wants to learn, not to please someone around.

Anyhow. This is another weekend of me teaching Sashiko. I enjoy sharing Sashiko Stories here. When I teach “Sashiko” to someone, it gets more “comprehensive” because of the “teaching skill” I have been developing. It is okay that one learns Sashiko casually from me, but being serious in “teaching identity my life with Sashiko. Serious doesn’t mean strict or scary to students. Strict to myself.

Online Sashiko Class & In-Person 3 Days comprehensive workshops in FL are available for Jan. 2022. Join us to see what Sashiko is for us. You will see another side of “Sashiko”.





実は今週末、かなり緊張するワークショップが入っています。オンラインなのですが、ある意味では一発勝負というものです。僕が個人で普段運営しているワークショップは、自分の時間の費やせる範囲で募集をかけているので、基本的に「できるまでサポートしまっせ」という体制です。もちろん緊張はするのですが、「ミスや誤解、ご不満な点をいつでも取り返せる」というのは大きな安心感の一つです。対面だと、第六感を使いまくって言葉に出てこない不満な点を見つけ出して事前に誤解が大きくなる前にカバーできたりするのですが、オンラインだとそれもなかなかに難しい(不可能じゃないけどね)。

手の動き。針の動き。筋肉の緊張具合。指の角度。数え切れない程の細かい点を、目が痛くなるほどモニター越しに確認して、学んでくれている人が「苦しい」と感じている所を察して動く。刺し子を本格的に教えだして4年ですが、教える技術は相当上がったなと思っています。それだけ本気出し、それだけ命削ってますからね(笑)

日本語&オンラインでも刺し子の運針をお教えすることは可能です。興味を持って頂ける方はプロフィールのリンクから「刺し子運針会」についての詳細をご覧頂けると幸いです!

#Sashiko #SashikoWorkshop #SashikoClass #JapaneseSashiko #刺し子 #運針 #刺し子クラス


via IFTTT

January 06, 2022 at 08:29PM

When I ask the question, “What do you like about Sashiko?”, one frequent reply is about “relaxing, healing, soothing, and calming”. Yes, indeed, Sashiko is comforting. Since it is your foreign word, I want you to keep digging, though. Why is Sashiko so calming? There are 2 angles: (1) the practice itself as simple stitching and (2) something we don’t know how to explain, but exists. (1) is understandable. (2) is the missing part in Sashiko in English.

Do you know the word “Reiki”? According to Wiki, it is a form of energy healing. In my understanding, this definition is based on the “Western Reiki” that many respecting people structured as a “therapy” that anyone can learn. There are many Japanese people in Japan who practice this Western (Seiyou) Reiki. Due to a gift I received, I have many friends in this field as well. Why do Japanese practice “Western Reiki” though?

Because “Reiki” itself is(was) quite ordinary for the Japanese people. Verbalized or not, Japanese culture is applying this ordinary to our daily activities, even today. For us, Reiki is a “something invisible but exists” from spirits and Nature. Without this “expectation”, one won’t enjoy the Ghibli movie fully.

That “something (Let’s say Reiki here)” often comes from the hands (palms). Sashiko is often stitched by hand, spending so much time and “praying” in it. What if one naturally puts “Reiki” into stitching? Isn’t the Jacket one stitch becoming clothing with healing energy? This is one of many explanations why I gaze at the Sashiko stitching I like. It happens to non-Sashiko handcrafting. It isn’t only Japanese culture. Yet, when we talk about “something invisible” related to Japan, then I believe we need to keep learning what Sashiko is for Japanese people to fully understand it. I really hope one day you can touch what we make: you will find “something” is there. (The In-person workshop in FL still has some open spots. Waiting list for QuiltCon 2022.)





金曜日は配信の日です。お昼は英語で。夜は日本語で。配信でもご紹介しようとは思うのですが、今年の「刺し子な福袋」、一部まだ、お求め頂けるようです!ストーリーの「刺し子な福袋」からの詳細にてご検討頂けたら幸いです。3日までにご注文頂いたぶんは全て発送済みです。ご購入された方でご感想や質問等ありましたらDMかコメント下さいませ〜。僕も写真を恵子さんにお願いしてみます。

#Sashiko #JapaneseSashiko #刺し子 #刺し子な福袋


via IFTTT

January 05, 2022 at 10:24PM

I have one powerful, yet scary, question that I have been thinking for 2 years or so. The answer to the question will explain a lot of the current situation. My goal is to pass down the Sashiko we practice: I choose a vehicle to do so by Sharing Sashiko Stories. The question may identify how far the trend of Sashiko had gone (or how close it still stays) – 言葉の一人歩き – the word may have been wandring off… or even gone off. The question will clarify a lot for me.

There is no such a thing as “Right and Wrong” to this question. I do not judge any answers because that’s how they feel, react, understand, and accept. One may cause the Cultural Appropriation, but the series of C/A repaint the original color – which I need to speak up for. This question is like a diagnosis for me. Therefore, I am so scared of asking this. But, I decided to stand up and gather courage.

The Question is: “What do you like about Sashiko?”. I will try to talk about it on tomorrow’s Live Streaming, starting at 9 pm EST on Youtube.

For us, Sashiko is… umm. The Jacket Keiko made in 2015 would probably explain a bit without words?





2015年の恵子さんの作品です。恵子さんの遊び心に、「遊び心」と名付けた頃の作品です。「これは刺し子なの?」と聞かれると、ふむ〜と考え込み、「あ、でも刺し子は好きです」と答える恵子さんの出発地点です。

日本生まれの日本育ちという、ある意味での「特権」から移民になって、一層自分を大切にするようになりました。大袈裟に言ってしまえば、失ったからこそ理解できた特権です。基本人間は、想像のできる範囲で、あるいは快適に思い浮かべることができる範囲で物事を理解しようとします。想像を超えた場合は現実から目を背けるか、どうしても目を逸らせない場合は物事そのものを無理に「快適な型」にはめ込もうとします。良い悪いの話ではなく、そういう社会に生きている……というお話です。

その「視点の違い」を確認する時に、正解だの間違いだのという二元論を持ち出すと、相手の本質を見る前に仲違いしてしまう場合があります。逃げることに躊躇ない(あるいは逃げていると認識していない)現代人において、一度逃げると決めると修復は大変です。ではどうやって「話している相手がどれだけ違うのか」を確認するのか。それは、「○○(共通テーマ)のどこが好き?」という質問です。僕であれば、「刺し子のどこが好きですか?」と。この問いに対して頂くご返答に正解も間違いもありません。様々な回答が想像できます。同時に「違い」もわかるし、逆に「見知らぬ同士」を見つけることもできます。

このテーマ、実はずーっと隠してきました(笑)トランプで言えばジョーカー的な質問なんです。日本語で問うと、僕の勉強しなければいけない課題が増えます(笑)。英語で問うと、落胆してしまうかもしれない。投げ出してしまうかもしれない。両言語においてリターンもリスクも大きすぎて、これまで言葉にはしてきませんでした。でも、敢えて2022年はこれを使い倒します。配信でのテーマにも登場します。「貴方はなぜ、刺し子が好きなのですか?」(日本語での回答に間違いも正解もなく、また僕が批判的になることはないとお約束します。それが例え「注目を浴びられるから」というものであっても)。

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


via IFTTT