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Sewing as an occupation


I have written about Yayoi’s sewing as one of the occupations important

to her in her daily life.

Sewing supports her efforts to live a good life in her nineties in spite of

lots of difficulties.

Today I will share with you, offering a view of sewing as an occupation

from these angles:

              the form of sewing as the occupation, 

              the function of the occupation,

              and the meaning of the occupation.

To look at sewing in a big occupational picture, let’s imagine Yayoi

engaging in sewing.

 Sewing as an occupation


Yayoi is in her nineties and lives with her daughter.

She needs her daughter’s help in her daily life and it is hard for her

to go out on her own. 

She looks forward to going to the day care center.

She enjoys sewing, reading and doing some house chores: washing dishes,

hanging and folding the laundry.

Yayoi has been sociable, enjoying social gatherings and meeting with her

friends through the years.

But most friends and relatives who were in her generation have passed

away or cannot enjoy an outing any more.


Yayoi learned sewing before she married and she has made clothes for

her family in past years.

She has always been stylish and she continues to enjoy sewing.

While Yayoi has accumulated life experiences and memories,

the things she can do on her own are decreasing and she has lost friends

and relatives with whom she used to spend her time.

Her range of activities and social interactions has been shrinking.

These are the environmental challenges to Yayoi.

Yayoi uses sewing and stylish activities to punch back at

(cope with) the environment’s challenges to her.

Form of the occupation:

Yayoi has engaged in sewing since she was young and still enjoys it daily.

Sewing has been a part of life.

When she was young, she learned sewing and has made clothes for her family.

Now she alters her clothes by hand so they fit her aging body.

She fixes her daughter’s shopping bag and makes small items for others.

Sewing and being stylish is one of her favorite topics when she chats

with her best friend.

She also likes it when people say she looks nice.

Function of the occupation:

 When Yayoi was young, there was a trend that women learned sewing to have an advantage for a future job and marriage.

Yayoi learned sewing in a dressmaking school and made clothes for her family after she married.

Sewing supported her caring for her family.

Sewing also made her a stylish woman.

Yayoi has lots of difficulties but each day she still looks forward to sewing tomorrow.

She cannot operate a sewing machine or make clothing but she alters, by hand, the clothes she has and others which she has recently purchased so they

fit her aging body and she feels most comfortable and also looks nice.

Sewing supports her feeling most comfortable and stylish,

and that she looks nice.

Yayoi makes small items and alters things for others.

Sewing supports her efforts to build connections with others.

Others recognize Yayoi as a seamstress and a stylish woman

and she also recognizes herself this way.  

Using interactions with others through sewing and stylishness,

Yayoi settles comfortably among people, feels safe and satisfied

with who she is, and with her continuation of life as occupational being.

Talking to her best friend about sewing and stylish activities supports

this recognition of herself and helps her settle into her aged life.

That promotes wellbeing in her daily life. 

Yayoi in the present is a continuation of the Yayoi from the past and

that is a continuation of Yayoi as an occupational being.

She has continued sewing and being stylish.

Because she has accumulated these experiences in her life,

she enjoys sewing today and looks forward to sewing tomorrow.

She is proud of sewing and it supports her efforts to be positive in her life. 


Meaning of the occupation    

Sewing has traditionally been one of women’s occupations.

Many women have engaged in sewing as house work or as a job

and have been valued with their usefulness. 

Yayoi started sewing influenced by such a cultural value and continued it.

Sewing has been a valued part of her life.

Now, sewing supports Yayoi in making nice comfortable connections with others.

She recognizes herself and has been recognized as a seamstress and stylish woman.

That supports her efforts to settle down among people in her aged life.

Then she looks forward to engaging in sewing tomorrow.

To Yayoi, sewing is one of important occupations which supports her desire

to be useful, safe, comfortable and positive.


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