Vol.6 Masahiko Morikawa in London & Belgium

Series Cohana and Ninigi

In this series, we would like to share stories and the latest information related to handicrafts, focusing on the "people" who passionately work in various fields of handicrafts.


Cohana and Ninigi Vol.6

Masahiko Morikawa in London & Belgium

In 2012, Masahiko Morikawa founded the garment manufacturing company Studio Masachuka Limited in London, UK. He has primarily worked in Europe, creating high-quality garments that blend Japanese tradition with modern design. In their garment creation, they prioritize craftsmanship grounded in solid technical skills and are dedicated to preserving and passing on Japanese traditional knowledge and techniques. He also runs an online haberdashery shop called Eight Needles, which sells Japanese-made sewing tools and materials, including Cohana products.


The article will be divided into two parts, Vol. 5 and Vol. 6. In this second half Vol.6, we interview a little more about Mr. Morikawa's work in Europe and his thoughts on Sashiko.




Please show us your favorite work

This is a kimono suit made for an audience with King Charles at Buckingham Palace. I upcycled Uniqlo clothes and added Sashiko embroidery.



What a special experience!

The upcycled formal "kimono suit" looks great on you. The innovative design and traditional Sashiko patterns blend together to create a unique and eye-catching style.


This kimono suit is currently on display in the Uniqlo Regent Street store in London.


Please show us your workspace



The studio is located in Stratford, East London. It's a small studio with about four people. There is also a small workspace in Belgium where I can make samples.



How is Sashiko accepted in the UK?

I sell Japanese-made sewing supplies online. Through this venture, I've noticed that British people, especially within Europe, have a strong interest in Japanese products and techniques. 


Sashiko-related items are particularly popular. Sashiko was even featured on the BBC show "The Great British Sewing Bee."
The UK is a country with a culture of treasuring old items, and darning is a prime example of this tradition. 'Visible Mending,' where the repaired part is intentionally highlighted rather than hidden, is also popular. Sashiko fits well within this concept, making it warmly accepted.


You create many Sashiko works; could you tell us what attracts you to Sashiko?

Maybe because I've dedicated so much time to crafting garments, especially tailored jackets, my previous creations were always very structured. Sashiko's handmade warmth is incredibly attractive to me. Unlike the garment industry's emphasis on efficiency and precision, Sashiko has its own rhythm while stitching, which I find quite therapeutic. Though, I must admit, with deadlines, I can't fully enjoy Sashiko! (laughs)



Could you tell us the differences between Sashiko in Japan and the UK?

In the Sashiko works created here in the UK, I notice designs and methods that Japanese people wouldn't typically explore. However, this exploration leads to new creations, which I believe is how Sashiko evolves. While it seems like Sashiko is progressing on its own, that's why it's crucial to share the history and techniques of Sashiko through workshops and innovate Sashiko while respecting its background.


Is there anything specific you focus on when creating your works?

As for Sashiko, I like the traditional designs, but I also try to create works that incorporate European culture and design, giving them a nostalgic yet new feeling. It's like a California roll in sushi. (laughs)


What do you value in your creative activities?

When creating Sashiko works, I basically try to design according to what customers want. Sometimes I get requests that I couldn't even imagine myself, which is very challenging, but achieving something beyond imagination with others is the real thrill.




The things that seem to remain unchanged are in fact constantly changing with the times.
Sashiko is now shining in this era of abundance as a new proposal to enrich our lives by raising awareness of the SDGs, for a better world in style.


The Kokeshi Doll Pincusion is very useful for carrying needles. Pincushion with a lid is a very convenient item. There are not many items like this. I always get compliments on how cute this item is. It's my favorite icebreaker!

Thank you for your cooperation!
Masahiko Morikawa Instagram
Studio Masachuka    Website
Eight Needles   Online Store