Ito’s first encounter with embroidery
Ito has knitted at home for more than forty years since she learned knitting from her mother in her childhood.
One day she happened to encounter with 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 these circumstances, Ito was 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 from some books.
However her nature wanted to do more detailed work.
It was natural that she hoped to learn more.
One day a college of hers told her an embroidery class.
Ito’s journey of embroidery was started at this moment.
The reason why Ito stopped embroidery
After she encountered with 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, because she could not see things clearly and worried about another health issues when she was eighty years old
If you put away something you really care for a long time, you might feel as if you become a kite without a kite string.
You might think that all you need to do is bringing your energy back but you might feel you don’t want do anything at the same time.
Like a balancing toy, your feelings and thoughts are moving back and forth in different directions.
Then you might think like this: “What am I doing here?” or “Why am I living?”
In these circumstances, we feel you don’t have to force yourself to bring your energy back.
All you need might be just to relax and release tension from your body; for example, not to do embroidery immediately.
A honest feeling or a true step could be found in the time of detachment.
Yet it is not easy to think like that if you are in the middle of darkness.
So was Ito.
She felt she was in the darkness and could not find 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.
However problem was there: all works were not Ito’s original.
Therefore they could not find the form of “the one thing” easily.
The difficult situations had been continued for several years for three women.
Let’s shed more light on Ito’s past embroidered work
On 31st December 2015, Hachi was taking pictures of her embroidered tote bags which Ito made for her.
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 finding a color combination.
While she was looking at Ito’s past works, an arrow of light suddenly came through Hachi’s head so quickly.
In the arrow of light, Hachi saw the flow of the pictures of Ito’s embroidery works and those were going to be a video.
She thought that that was the answer for “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 she was 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 process, 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 did not feel completely well, but sometimes she smiled as she used to do.
While Hachi was taking pictures, she felt that each embroidery work was filled with Ito’s memories and feelings at that time as well.
She was traveling through Ito’s life.
Then she got another idea: Ito would tell the story about the background of each work and it could be added to a video as a narration.
That was what Peiji and Hachi wanted to hear about from Ito for a long time as well.
In this way, the video was going to be added 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 with her vocalization skills, helped Hachi to improve her narration.
Interaction at a deeper level
What did the three women realize after finishing creating the video?
First, the next step was always appeared in what people think, imagine or say even if they felt depressed or have symptoms.
Ito’s next step was hidden in her feeling; “What are her past works going to be. Those are useless.”
Was that really so?
Not at all.
Her past works contained her nature so much and waited to be unfold.
Once her nature was unfold, she found her next step by herself.
Secondly, the unexpected changes and the quality of relationship happened while people were following process.
For Ito, her physical condition seemed to be in response to the progress of video making somehow.
When the video was roughly completed, Ito still put away threads and needles yet.
However an event, which seemed to tell Ito that “you should take care of needles more”, happened.
Ito cherished what she realized by the event and bought a new embroidery cloth the first time in last several years.
She began to think that it was okay to do embroidery as much as she could, and started creating the second original work.
That happened when the narration by Ito was added to the video.
Yet there was no change in the health 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.
Sadly 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 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.
One more thing: 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 young girl and is considering its sizes and colors.
She says she moves forward without being worried.
In the process, three women experienced that personal changes happened and their relationship were a little bit deepened.
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 personal history helped him/her to be connected with a deeper feeling of who he/she was and that would be a new beginning of life for burning his/her own inner energies.
That seems to be a simple and sustainable way of supporting people.
Hachi also realized that she got over her limitation and found her own style of supporting people somehow by discovering Ito’s untold wishes
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.
The video has been created finally.
It is with English subtitles and is started with the Ito’s past embroidery works.
It is not only the record of her embroidery works but also the video of capturing the unexpected process, which can be found through the voice and the conversation.
The additional backstage conversation was included in the last part, which was the first time in last several years to hear Ito’s lively voice.
We hope you enjoy it.