Hitomezashi On Denim 1 – October 29, 2022

Koginzashi on Denim 1

Hitomezashi On Denim 1

In Yesterday’s Reel, I mentioned about “How Easy it is to prepare the grid on fabric when the fabric is relatively small”. I hope you had a chance to register to receive this new series – “My Common Knowledge may be someone’s miracle solution”. I had sent the link to those who signed up yesterday. I hope it was something helpful.

Well, since I almost “declare” that it is “Easy” to do so, I decided to double check if it is that easy. Yes, it can be done in 5 min or so when the fabric is small. Even for this size, it doesn’t take much time, and you don’t need to spend any dime if you have a pen (a pencil), ruler, and a printer. This information will be part of the new “Online Class” I am working on as a supplemental class to the main one “Core & Essence”. For now, I offer the information for free to see how “uncommon” or “common” it is for many people.

When I prepare the Grid, of course I gotta stitch. I do not usually do Hitomezashi since it requires a bit of “concentration” – I enjoyed it for this much, yet I prefer my ordinary running stitch. I mean, I need to “concentrate” to stith in Hitomezashi, and I am not used to doing so – as you know that I mainly focus on talking while I do a Sashiko Stitching Live Streaming. Anyhow, it isn’t difficult AT ALL. This is called “Wisdom (that I have received from seniors as a normal thing”, right? Then, it lead me to Hitomezashi On Denim 1.



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


via Instagram https://instagr.am/p/CkUE_g6u288/

You aren’t alone in this Sashiko – October 26, 2022

[You aren’t alone in this] – I am very thankful to many supportive, understanding & encouraging reactions to my message in “Cultural Appropriation/Sustainability (C/A)”. If you can learn something here, that’s great! If you feel pain in a similar situation, you aren’t alone. Of course, though, I get shitty reactions. It is the nature of the Internet – people only read what they want to read. For them, they look for answers to validate their beliefs, not to learn something new. I know what I see visually is tip of the iceberg of indifference (ignorance), but if I were to summarize it, they belabor my message as “over-reacting”.

Another extreme analogy. You know Japanese Sushi in general is NOT the same as “Sushi” we can get in the US. I have never seen “spicy tuna roll with colorful sauce” in a traditional Japanese Sushi bar. Some may consider it as “C/A”. The others don’t. I understand both sides, and I am still learning. What is happening in Sashiko isn’t even this… In both Sushi bars, the chef should know the difference of Sushi & the basic skill like fileting fish – the basic respect to Sushi as “professional”. You go to Sushi Class. You should learn how to prepare Sashimi with fileting along with other basics. Using “spicy sauce” is a choice after that basic skill. You cook for your family? Then, sure, no problem getting “fileted fish” by WholeFoods. However, when one teaches you how to purchase a prepared fish by store “without knowing how to filet”, and call themselves “master”, the Sushi “culture” becomes sadly different.

Unfortunately, that’s what I see in Sashiko introduced in English. Sashiko isn’t someone’s property, it is more like identity – and it has been changed by a lot of “ignorance” and “indifference” – and it is very painful to me (and others). That’s the reason to speak up. I don’t think it is over-reacting in any means.


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

via Instagram https://instagr.am/p/CkLSFZTuJTH/

Sashiko from a student – October 24, 2022 at 11:19AM

Without learning “Unshin” as a form of rhythmical stitching, this amount of stitches would be quite challenging to make, especially if they stitch “one by one”. This is a “Blanket (Futon)” made by @humuhumu345 – yes, it is NOT our work. It is the work done by my friend who took our Sashiko Class 2 years ago. I am so happy to see her achievement & it strongly encourages me to keep sharing & teaching. I sincerely believe that anyone can do this kind of Sashiko when they learn it appropriately.

I haven’t confirmed with her yet, but I believe it didn’t take as long time as you think to complete this Sashiko. Stitches made by Unshin explains how fast, how enjoyable, how mindful (with prayer) this project was. As you know, “fabric talks”. So do stitches. They represent who the stitcher is, how the stitcher was thinking, and what they were praying for. Since I decided to focus on my own stitching in 2022, I do not have more in-person workshops. In person workshops in 2023 are filling pretty quickly. Online Class is still available for Oct/Nov. I believe what I teach is “Life Long wisdom (& technique)”. It will help to understand more of what I am saying here. It is not “fast” spreading as the other company & its marketing – but I am very happy that I can pass “it” down to both Japanese & anyone in the world. Sashiko is more than stitching – but you will be able to stitch this much with fun by learning Sashiko (of course!!).

延々と続く刺し子の針目。これだけの量の刺し子を、これだけ揃えて形にするとなると、一目ずつ刺す方法ではなかなかに大変です。@humuhumu345 さんの最近の刺し子布団。写真をお借りして紹介しています。運針会を受講下さり、その後もご縁を頂いていて、こうして運針を楽しんで続けて下さっているのを拝見すると、心から運針をお伝えしていて良かったなぁと思うのです。



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

via Instagram https://instagr.am/p/CkGev_5utN4/

Fall & Sashiko – Japanese Sashiko Archive 10/12

Once, in its history, Sashiko was very close to the Japanese Ordinary. For more than 300 years, Sashiko has been transforming its form by accepting the change. I have seen the change, and I may have caused the change. The reason I am speaking up now, (the case some consider me one resisting the change in Sashiko), is that I do not see much “Japaneseness” in today’s big change in Sashiko (and Boro). I accept change. I even encourage changes. However, I want the change done mindfully, or at least done with/by those who understand the cultural context behind the words. In short, I want the change to be “Serious” and “Long-Term Wisdom”, instead of “Just Convenient” for “Short Term Profit”. ☆ “Seasonal” is an interesting English word – it means “relating to or characteristic of a particular season of the year”. Sachiko’s main season would be “Winter” (for many stories), but Autumn is also an important season for me (and probably for others). In Japanese, especially in Haiku, we have a variety of specific words to indicate (describe) each season. Sashiko isn’t in this category (季語), but for me it is very much associated to specific seasons, with many stories. The ordinary to the Art: I am learning of the possibility of Sashiko – and therefore, I want them to learn the “stories” behind the word Sashiko before defining the word so easily.


☆ – – – ☆

去年の秋の写真です。冬の真っ白な雪の中の藍染に白糸の刺し子も素敵ですが、紅葉の中に紛れる古布との刺し子も個人的には好きな風景の一つです。移りゆく四季の中で、その季節それぞれのもの、つまりは旬のものを楽しむ。変化に抗っても仕方ないと受け入れ、その時々で一番いいとされるものを感性を以って楽しむ。当たり前に聞こえるかもしれませんが、結構珍しいことで、四季がない国では違う風流がありますし、「旬を楽しむ」という概念が日本ほど強くない国では、変化に抗うことも正義とされるかもしれません。 ☆ 英語圏で刺し子をお伝えする中で、日本的な刺し子を理解する為に必要な要素が目に入るようになりました。前々から知ってたはずですが、意識すらしなかったことです。一番伝えたいことは「受け入れること」です。言い方を変えれば抗わないこと。現代的&西洋的な考え方では、「コントロールできること(支配下におくこと)」が力の定義です。現代日本でもそれは一緒なのかもしれませんが、刺し子が実際に行われていた当時の日本を省みると、どうなのだろうと思いを馳せてしまいます。「受け入れることの大切さを伝えるために、流れに抗う」という矛盾を含んだ道を選んでいますが、一方的に押し付けられるのだけは駄目だろうと、これからも声を挙げ続けたいと思うのです。 ☆ #Sashiko #JapaneseSashiko #Hitomezashi #刺し子 #日本人の刺し子 #一目刺し


via Instagram https://instagr.am/p/CjntsuAO9zh/

Japanese Sashiko Archive 10/11/2022

As much as I say I do not consider Sashiko as the Art (Sashiko “can be” Art), we are here continuing Sashiko thanks to those who consider our items as “Art” and invest in us a lot. Once she called our item “Wearable Art”. She told us it is her honor to “own” our Sashiko. We really appreciated this great opportunity to freely explore & involve some Sashiko Artisans in Japan. If Sashiko is in Art Form, it is “Wearable Art” as she defines: the True beauty of Sashiko shines when they wear (use) it outside. Of course, it is beautiful & important to have them in the exhibitions… but I want to keep saying that the Sashiko is based on “The beauty in Usage (用即美)”.

My goal is to pass down Sashiko to the next generation. For that, I share many Sashiko Stories on top of teaching the Core & Essence of Sashiko. My “Job (mission)” is to support some rising Sashiko Artisans in Japan. I do not think a person can make a living by just stitching Sashiko (all-hand stitching). It simply doesn’t function in this capitalistic world. However, I would like to try my best to support the Artisans who actually keep stitching – who can make this Jacket happen again today, in 2022. This may sound like one arrogant phrase, but allow me to say it. If the world considers Sashiko as the Art, please help us (Sashiko Artisans in Japan) to be the Artist. I am not sure what I can do for that, but I will keep thinking, challenging, and of course stitching as one Sashiko Artisan (Or Artist) to pass down the Sashiko not fully introduced in English yet.



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


via Instagram https://instagr.am/p/CjlIpkbOU9a/

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