April 06, 2021 at 09:45AM

18 Sashiko artisans contributed their piece to make this one beautiful Jacket. I say, “All different, All Good”. There is no such a thing as “Absolute Answer” in Sashiko. However, when we learn the specific posture, the Sashiko result can be unified without discomfort. They are all different, but somewhat similar. 

The jacket explains the beauty of these differences & possibility of unifying. This is what Sashiko, and hand-stitching can do. I am very fortunate to have 18 artisans & proud of what we could do to Sashiko culture.

(As of now, I wrote a series of blog articles introducing the 18 Sashiko artisans each piece, and the rough process of making the Jacket. I will try to translate the series little by little.)




#Sashiko #Asanoha #Sakura #JapaneseSashiko #SashikoJacket #Handmade #Unshin #NoragiJacket #刺し子 #運針会 #桜


April 05, 2021 at 12:21PM

A long time ago, when I started sharing my stories, I received several worries. “You may make enemies (even if you do not mean it) by being direct”. Yes, I am aware of the risk of having “enemy”. Although I do consider nobody an enemy, I realize what I say/write may end up making them my enemy. I would like to “be liked”, of course. However, “being liked” isn’t the priority in this account. Protecting my own culture by sharing stories is the priority.

What I do is a very non-Japanese thing to do – to say something direct & (somewhat) confronting. I think I can say/write what the readers want to hear/listen. At least, I kept silent completely. However, the reality that “one may become an enemy by saying something honest” is already the result of some distortion.

I am not here to change you. I am here to share the stories so that you can choose to learn & change. Not knowing is okay, but hurting people without knowing is just sad (for both sides). Therefore, I share. It is up to them to learn, or consider me as an enemy. I feel “responsible” to share the stories because I am saying the current information is insufficient. However, I do not own any explanation for what I say/write. Often (not always), the truth isn’t spoon-fed. We need to “find” it. The information someone may bring to your month is modified based on someone’s convenience. I will spoon-feed them when I receive the support (Webstore, Class, Youtube, and such) – that’s my work to keep Sashiko sustainable. However, wouldn’t you feel strange if someone spoon-feed you with no cost…? (I wouldn’t swallow that). I am not a master of Sashiko. I am still learning what it is – and how I can share in other languages.


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


April 04, 2021 at 01:00PM

Stitches carry a lot of memories. We sometimes call it “spirit”, “feelings”, or even “identity”. I believe it is the same for many people, including you. You may have something associated with your memory & identity made by hands. Interestingly, what I had received had a name “Sashiko”, and it became the “trend” with filtering to their convenience. So, I am not overreacting to protect it. I used to minimize my feelings, but not any longer.

By asking for quick answers & definitions, they need to simplify the matter. When they share the same “common sense” to the original culture, this simplification won’t be a big problem – because we mutually understand the long list of definitions to define the word. Please do not simplify someone’s culture with a lot of memories… and more importantly, with spirits. It can be degrading as you can imagine yourself in the same shoe with different topics.

Sashiko carries the memories. I am asking many Japanese artisans to help me to make the “identities” visual. All stitch the same pattern with the same posture, yet they are all different. However, they are similar enough to be the “one”. I will introduce the power of hand-stitching (First on Patreon).



#Sashiko #Asanoha #Sakura #JapaneseSashiko #SashikoJacket #Handmade #Unshin #NoragiJacket #刺し子 #運針会 #桜


April 03, 2021 at 11:24AM

Sashiko is a “form/practice/culture of hand-stitching” developed in Japan. Yes, the “technique” and “patterns” are very inspiring & important to learn. However, what I want to share is “MORE” than just how Sashiko looks. What I would like to share includes, but not limited to, tradition, custom, rituals, belief, philosophy, spirituality, and the ordinary of the Japanese people who practice(d) Sashiko. Without explaining them, the culture may be twisted by someone’s convenience – and may be for their profit.

I am very lucky to marry a beautiful person with several heritage (Born in USSR, moved to Israel). We have a daughter who is American. Every single day, I learn something new. Ever since I immigrated to the US, I respect this country. Therefore, I “share”. I am NOT judging, criticizing, attacking nor excluding those non-Japanese who enjoy Sashiko. I am simply asking to learn the difference. In the past, there weren’t any resources. Now, I share the resource. 

The Japanese culture (& its practice) is very unique to non-Japanese culture. The Japanese who live in Japan do not realize the uniqueness so often. However, well therefore, there is a lot of wisdom that I can share. I hope what I share will be some help to your ordinary days. Learning Sashiko is “more” than making beautiful stitches. (If a goal is to have perfect even stitches with beautiful patterns, a machine can do that. And there is nothing wrong with the machine).



#Sashiko #Hitomezashi #JapaneseSashiko #JapaneseCulture #刺し子 #一目刺し


April 02, 2021 at 01:14PM

“The Japanese practiced Sashiko to survive through the harsh conditions with limited resources” is a true statement. I used to use the word “poor” and “poverty” instead of “harsh conditions” and “limited resources”. The more I learn about the English definition, I need to replace these words. After all Sashiko is NOT a hand-stitching culture in poverty (with understanding the definition of poor & poverty). It wouldn’t happen in Japan in the Japanese language. I am still learning how to introduce our culture in different languages. So interesting, and so delicate to handle (otherwise, it may be broken).  

[Poverty = the state of being extremely poor] / [Poor = “worse than is usual, expected, or desirable; of a low or inferior standard or quality” or “lacking sufficient money to live at a standard considered comfortable or normal in a society”]. These definitions are not what I wanted to introduce. 




#Sashiko #JapaneseSashiko #JapaneseBoro #SashikoStory #Boro #SashikoDefinition #日本の刺し子 #刺し子 #襤褸 #ぼろ


April 01, 2021 at 10:16AM

“All different and All Good”. I believe the Sashiko (especially done by Unshin without focusing on the result) represent the stitcher themselves. As there is no “right and wrong” in humans, (I believe there are no “wrong” humans as who we are), there is no such thing as “Right and Wrong” in Sashiko. If you find a rule in Sashiko, it is either a (big) local tradition or a filter to make “it” easy. The essence of Sashiko exists in the ordinary. It is nonsense to define “Right and Wrong”.

It is easy to say “All different and All Good”. However, it is very challenging to make it visual. One project we try to visualize our belief is this “Jacket made by people who learn Unshin”. The 2nd project started in 2020. Keiko is about to complete the project. I will explain the whole picture when it is ready, but I just wanted to share how “beautiful” it can be – “All different and All Good”. However, it doesn’t mean “whatever is good”. Without learning the form (Kata), one cannot be different.



#Sashiko #Asanoha #JapaneseSashiko #SashikoJacket #Handmade #Unshin #NoragiJacket #刺し子 #刺し子運針会仲間


March 31, 2021 at 10:38AM

Some criticize me for playing the victim (crying for attention). Umm. “I don’t know” is my honest reaction. I had always been “privileged” in my life. It is my first time to “speak up” as a minority. I need to learn what is the line between “speaking up” and “playing the victim”.

Being a man in Japanese society is a huge “privilege”. It is unfortunate, but Japan is a Male-dominated society. We even have a word for that. So, I am privileged. My mother is not privileged for this matter. Also, being a Japanese itself is a privilege in comparison to the other minority groups in Japan. I cannot talk on behalf of the minorities because I haven’t experienced their pain. However, now, I acknowledge it, and learn how to imagine their pain. I never will minimize their voice.

It is uncomfortable to listen to someone saying “You are privileged”. I didn’t choose to be a man. It is not me who wanted to be “privileged”. However, I do benefit by being privileged. Therefore, I learn to listen – and more importantly – “imagine (the pain)” instead of saying “it is what it is”.

In Sashiko, unfortunately, the information available in English is not enough (not wrong). The discussions on “Sashiko/Boro” are filtered – both questions & answers – by many trying to share their “definition” on Sashiko & Boro that they learned from the 2nd source. Unlike Zen introduced by legend “D. T. Suzuki” who wrote (not translated) based on his 1st source, Sashiko/Boro is not discussed with 1st source much. For that matter, Sashiko/Boro is filtered by privilege(English). I am NOT saying privileged people need to shut up. I am asking them to acknowledge the privilege they have – because They Are The One Who Can Change “It Is What It Is”. Please. You are the one who can change. 


#Sashiko #JapaneseSashiko #SashikoStitching #CulturalAppropriation #SashikoStory #Unshin #日本の刺し子 #刺し子 #運針


March 30, 2021 at 10:29AM

“Cultural Appropriation” explained the pain & sorrow I felt when I saw someone introduce Sashiko with their own filtered information & minimizing the stories. This “filtering” often (not always) is caused by the privileged people, and therefore, some people misunderstand my message that I am trying to exclude all the “privileged” people. I am NOT. I am just asking you to learn Sashiko so that no one will change the culture “for their convenience”.

“Filtering” can happen within the people in the same culture. It is unrealistic to believe ALL Japanese artisans are at the same level of understanding, nor share the same value. Although it is rare to find a Japanese artisan who “insists” on the legitimacy of doing “Correct Sashiko”, I may come across similar experiences even among Japanese people. However, I am not worried about it much. I say, “Sashiko done by Japanese are all valid”. Can you guess why?

As long as one understands the Japanese language, there are enough Japanese people & documents they can reach when they continue Sashiko. If they do not continue, they will not “change” the culture. How about those in other languages besides the Japanese? Since not many Sashiko practitioners understand other languages, the person who “interprets (translate)” the Sashiko will create the “new Normal” in each language – which the others cannot even doubt since they do not understand the original Japanese language. Isn’t it scary? Therefore, I share the stories. Unfortunately, audiences without Japanese language trust the 2nd source written in their language as if it is the “whole story”. 

That’s the “change” I am afraid of, and if one makes a profit over the people in origin, then it is a form of C/A (Privileged people getting wealth over sacrificing the culture’s essence is the damage from C/A here).


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


March 29, 2021 at 09:39AM

The “Thread” matters in Sashiko. There are stories we call it “Sashiko Thread”, and there are reasons why we keep using the specific “Sashiko Thread”. You can find the details on our Youtube & Website, and here is a “process” of thread being a part of fabric. It is very rare to have this kind of example because the fabric today is not designed to last so long. This Sashiko is more than 12 years old, and finally it is becoming a part of Fabric.

“Cloth & Fabric” is a form of culture. It exists everywhere the human resides. The priority (concepts) changes. Now, “how it looks” is more important than “how long it can last”. Both are very important cultural aspects. We need to learn to appreciate “both”.

There is a reason why I do not insist on “slow-fashion & Sashiko” so much. They are very much related, and I probably should use it for the marketing purpose. However, the core for slow-fashion is NOT mending. It is supporting “traditional textile manufacture” who can make the fabric for the purpose of “last-long”. I do not want “it” to be a trend with filtering the facts by the privileged group of people (including myself). Therefore, I share to be mindful and caring. 



#Sashiko #JapaneseSashiko #SashikoStitching #SashikoStory #Mending #SlowFashion #日本の日常 #刺し子


March 28, 2021 at 01:10PM

I occasionally wonder what “appreciation” means for others. For me, “appreciation” comes with some action. Without action, the phrase “I appreciate it” is kind of a polite way to say “I don’t care”. One say, “I appreciate Japanese culture”. But they step into a Japanese house without taking shoes off with saying “it is freedom of choice”. The similar case goes to “Inspired”. One say, “Boro inspired me”, but they put so bright color to fabric… I wonder what they are inspired by. Are they using the word for the commercial or “self-assertion” purpose? It is perfectly fine to do so, but then covering their greed with superficial niceness is disgusting. Regardless of what they say, without proper action, they are  same as those saying “I don’t care about Sashiko, but I use the word Sashiko because it brings more people (which I define as Cultural Appropriation, so please do not do it). Is it too much to ask to take an action?

If you can, please, tell your friends what you learn. Stop purchasing from someone who is just taking advantage of the words/culture. If possible, please speak up with me. Everyone has a choice to be a bystander and not be involved. However, then, please  do not cover yourself up by saying “I appreciate it”. Sashiko is more than a mending. Boro isn’t the technique. The Japanese didn’t embrace the imperfection. Sashiko isn’t developed as “slow-stitching”. There are many messages you can find on this account. Please, please help me to re-adjust the words. Groups of privileged people re-wrote a culture – I am not trying to reverse it, and I learned from my older friends, that I may be the last chance to do so in Sashiko. All of my messages are available for free. Please read. Please watch. Please learn, and Please help me.


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