I am Janette Haruguchi, the owner of this website. While living in Japan, I came across sashiko by chance.

Even in Japan, sashiko can't be found everywhere and not everyone knows what sashiko is. But you are much more likely to encounter sashiko in Japan than anywhere else. So I am very grateful that I have had the chance to spend so many years in this country.

Sashiko can teach you so much more about Japan than I ever could.

How I came to live in Japan

Even though grew up without any interest in Japan, my passion for foreign languages led me to a Japanese class when my Russian class was canceled.

After a working holiday in Australia, I enrolled in Japanese studies as a major along with English language studies and literature without ever setting foot in Japan.

My first trip to Japan was a disaster and I heavily considered changing subjects. Luckily I didn't.

A scholarship enabled me to spend a year at a Japanese university, where I finally fell in love with the country, thanks to many wonderful experiences and more than anything thanks to my Japanese friends.

In 2010, I successfully graduated from Würzburg University and started working for a Japanese company in Frankfurt am Main.

When I got a work offer from Japan, I left everything behind and rushed off to a small town in the Japanese countryside.

Life in Japan

Currently, I live with my husband and two daughters in southern Japan, as close to the sea as I dare to. Typhoons and earthquakes have weathered me, but I'll pass on a tsunami experience.

During the ten years I have spent in this very quiet rural part of Japan, I had the chance to learn so much about its wonderful culture.

I learned how to dress in a kimono, I learned about tea ceremony, I experienced traditional dance and listened to koto, shamisen and gottan music. I watched Takarazuka and Noh, I took part in many colorful festivals and various ceremonies.

All these experiences are treasures. Every experience has changed me. For everything that I give, I get back even more. With every little thing that I learn about Japanese traditions, my life becomes richer and more interesting.

When I happened across sashiko, I didn't understand how special it was. I don't even remember when exactly I encountered sashiko for the first time.

Then, one day, I bought a sashiko kit and started stitching. At the time, I thought sashiko was just a new passing interest of mine. But the more I learned about it, the more I was intrigued, the more I wanted to know and the more I wanted to do sashiko.

Japan and sashiko

People often ask me: "What's Japan like?" and it's such a difficult question to answer. So instead of giving an insufficient answer, I invite people to learn about sashiko.

Sashiko can teach you so much more about Japan than I ever could.

That is why I created this homepage. It is a means to share what I've learned about sashiko, its beauty and its essence.

It is a means to share my love for Japan and what Japan is to me.

Sashiko hanafukin in blue with white and purple stitches