Ito has knitted at home for more than forty years since she learned from her mother in her childhood.
Not only knitting, she does embroidery at home too.
One day she happened to meet embroidery in the workplace, where she worked as a dressmaker.
It was when she was in her fifties.
There were a leftover of white linings in the workplace, and the dressmakers used it to make shoe bags for their children or to do embroidery for newborn grandchildren.
In the circumstances, Ito was especially interested in embroidery.
She casually started it because fabrics were already there and embroidery threads were not expensive enough to be a burden on her household budget.
At first, Ito did back stitch embroidery, looking at examples in some books.
However, she basically liked detailed work.
She hoped to learn more.
One day a college of hers told her an embroidery class.
The video below, with English subtitles, is started with the embroidery works at that time.
After she met embroidery, she did embroidery and knitting alternately at home, barely creating extra time.
However, she put away threads and needles which were always with her when she became eighty years old.
It was because she could not see things clearly and worried about another health issues.
If you put away something you really care and walk away from it, you might feel as if you become a kite without a kite string.
You might think that you need to take your energy back but might feel that you don’t want do anything.
Like a balancing toy, your feelings and thoughts are moving back and forth in different directions.
Then you might become to think:
“What am I doing here?” or “Why am I living?”
Now we see the situation like this:
You don’t have to force yourself to take your energy back.
All you need might be just to relax and release tension from your body, not to do, for example, embroidery.
A genuine feeling or step could be found in the time of relaxation.
Yet it is not easy to see the situation like that if you are in the middle of darkness.
So was Ito.
She felt she was in the darkness, being unable to see the meaning of her embroidery works and her future.
She sometimes said that “these embroidery works are nothing but bulky. What are they going to be?”
But what Ito said gave an idea to Peiji and Hachi: the embroidery works could be combined into “one thing”.
“The one thing” might help Ito to find a next step.
What is “the one thing”?
Peiji and Hachi wondered a lot about that: A small exhibition? A book?
They hoped that the embroidery works could be seen anytime anywhere and there were some works from the books, so that they could not find the form of “the one thing” easily.
The difficult situations had been continued for several years for three each woman.
On 31st December 2015, Hachi was taking pictures of her embroidered tote bags which Ito made.
It was because she was searching for Ito’s favorite colors to make a gift of Kogin-sashi.
She wanted to give Ito warmness of embroidery.
However, Hachi was not good at selecting colors.
That’s why she started taking pictures.
Then an arrow of light came through Hachi’s head as quickly as a flash of lightning.
In the arrow of light, Hachi saw the flowing movement of the pictures of the embroidery works to be a video.
She thought that that was the answer to “the one thing”.
She got vision. Next step was to take action.
In order to discover every single Ito’s work, Hachi kept taking pictures one by one.
While doing that, she often remembered another Ito’s work.
The process was like a storm inside of the house.
Then the storm went over to Ito’s house.
In the storm, Hachi found some unframed embroidery works in the corner of Ito’s closet.
Gosh… she was sorry for them.
Ito, whose knees were aching, stood up and tried to discover her works more and helped Hachi to take pictures.
At that time, she didn’t feel completely well, but sometimes she smiled as she used to do.
While Hachi was taking pictures, she felt that each embroidery work had Ito’s memories and feelings at that time.
She was traveling through Ito’s life.
Then she came up an idea: Ito could explain the background of each work and it could be added as a narration.
That was what Peiji and Hachi wanted to hear about from Ito for a long time.
In this way, the video was going to be added the narration and the conversation between Ito and Hachi.
The conversation included their emotional expressions, a dialect and their characters. (They are shy about that….)
Peiji, who used to work using her voice, helped Hachi to improve her narration.
Furthermore, the backstage conversation was included, which Ito’s lively voice could be heard: it was the first time in last several years.
What did the three women realize after finishing creating the video?
First, next steps are always appeared in what people think, imagine or say even if they feel depressed or have symptoms.
Ito’s next steps were hidden in her feeling toward her embroidery works, which was that “her past works were useless”.
Secondly, the unexpected changes of themselves and of the quality of the relationship could be happened while following process.
For Ito, her physical condition seemed to be in response to the progress of video making somehow.
When the video roughly be completed, Ito still put away threads and needles.
However, an event which seemed to tell Ito that “you should take care of needles more” happened.
Ito cherished what she realized and bought a new cloth for embroidery the first time in last several years.
She began to think that it would be great to do embroidery as best as she could at a given moment, and started creating the second original work.
It was when the narration by Ito was added to the video.
Yet there was no change in the situation of her eyes.
She hoped to have surgery on her eyes for a long time but she did not feel good with another symptom so that she could not make up her mind.
She stopped making the second original work.
When Hachi remembered Ito’s another embroidery work which was not added to the video yet and added it, Ito, who lived separately from Hachi, felt her another symptom became calm.
Then she finally made up her mind to have surgery on her eyes.
That was the moment she had been waiting for for a very long time.
After the surgery, she finished the second original work.
When Japanese and English subtitles were added to the video, she bought another new cloth for embroidery.
She has a plan to make a new embroidered bag.
Now she is looking at her favorite motifs like a girl and is considering its sizes and colors.
She says she moves forward without worried.
Like this process, three women experienced the personal changes and the changes of the quality of the relationship.
For Hachi, she believed in the power of listening to people and following process, and she was the one who decided to add the Ito’s memories to the video, but she never imagined that Ito got better and energetic as if to be in response to the progress of the video.
She made sure that following a history of a person helps him/her to be connected with deeper resource of who he/she is and that will be a new beginning of life burning his/her own inner energies.
That seems to be a simple and sustainable way of helping people.
She felt her ability to follow people were trained to be strengthened while she listened to Ito’s untold wishes, tried to find out how to get over problems without feeling patience was not patience.
She realized that someone who got involved in the deeper process also would be unfolded.
Actually, Hachi realized her own style of supporting people.
Through the unexpected changes, Ito and Hachi have felt satisfied and energetic even when they did not get together.
The feeling is like getting into a hot spring together, which is never dried up.
In this way, the video has completed.
It is not only the record of Ito’s embroidery works but also the video of capturing the unexpected process, which can be heard through the voice and the conversation.