The Senninbari Project is working to help rebuild lives. Senninbari means “Thousand Person Stitches”. The Japanese believe that a garment sewn by many people becomes an amulet, protecting the wearer from danger and clothing them in prayers. After the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated part of her home region, Maki and her mother, Tsuyo Onodera created a project to bring together women who had lost everything and teach them sewing skills so they could have a source of income, but even more importantly a connection with others.
Sashiko is a form of Japanese folk embroidery, using the basic running stitch to create a patterned background. Originally, sashiko was used to reinforce or add strength to worn areas of clothing since cotton was a precious material. Due to its beauty and durability, it has become an art form rather than just a functional craft.