Yesterday I attended my second sashiko class at Blue & White (you can read about my first class here and more about sashiko here). I was a little hesitant to go — though I had a lovely time last month, the class is a bit expensive and the question-and-answer format is not ideal, considering I can’t ask a question in Japanese, let alone understand the response. But I went, figuring it would be my last for a while.
When I arrived three other women were already at the table, and another followed me into the shop. All of them seemed to know each other, and were quite lively with their greetings. I was able to contribute a little はじめまして (nice to meet you), and we all sat down.
The class quickly devolved into a series of show-and-tells, each woman showing off her sashiko to the others. It was fun to see all their different projects — two were working on table coverings, one was free-hand stitching a Christmas tree, and another pulled about 10 (yes, 10!) projects out of her bag. Fortunately, complete awe is a universal language, and we all nodded in admiration as each project came to the table. Later, the shop’s owner joined us. She translated for me a bit, and explained the ladies were joking about some of their uneven sashiko lines — some done before nap time and others after.
As I went to leave, I gave each woman a bow and a thank you. I’d had a lovely time yet again, and decided perhaps the class was worth the price of admission, if only to spend a few hours giggling with other 主婦 (housewives). Then they sent me on my way — with lunch! That’s right, one of ladies actually gave me her homemade rice and sweet potato lunch. Perhaps she was trying to entice me back, or more likely she felt sorry for me and thought I needed a home-cooked meal. There may have been something lost in translation, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t steal her lunch. She gave it to me! Whatever the case, I was completely touched, and went home feeling a little choked up. Maybe I’ll have to check out the November class after all.
A Tokyo local and interested in the sashiko class? They’re held monthly at Blue & White, 2-9-2 Azabu juban, Minato-ku, tel. 03 3451 0537