What is SAORI?

"All flowers are beautiful, even though each individual flower is different in form and color.  Because of this difference, all are good.  Because everything has the same life, life cannot be measured by a yardstick.  It is this individuality that makes everything meaningful and the uniqueness of each thread that creates the tapestry of life."
- Misao Jo, Founder of SAORI

SAORI is a combination of 2 words in Zen vocabulary- SAI meaning “everything has its own individuality” and ORI meaning “weaving”.
SAORI was founded in 1969, by Misao Jo, after she misthread the obi she was weaving. When she was told it was “wrong” she found beauty in what other called an error.
She created SAORI with the idea that we are all born with our own unique individualities and the ability to create. 
SAORI weavers not only use the practice of  “free weaving” to create a state of mindful intention,  awaken creative potential and connect with the authentic self, but also to connect deeply with the community.

In SAORI weaving, the weaver embodies 4 ideals:

  1. Consider the differences between a machine and a human being.
    In SAORI weaving, we celebrate what we do with our hands. That can think freely and everyone is different. No two weavings will ever be the same, and every cloth is beautiful in its own way. There are no errors, only possibilities. We create “the beauty with lack of intention”
  2. Be bold and adventurous.
    SAORI encourages us to create without fear and to embrace the possibility of “what if”.  SAORI celebrates that we are all one of a kind, and we all have our own powers to create beauty. It asks us to explore our own journey beyond what is “expected”. Pushing boundaries to create our own path.
  3. Look out through eyes that shine.
    This principle reminds us to find beauty everywhere. Inspiration is everywhere, we just have to open ourselves to it.
  4. Inspire one another, and everyone in the group.
    Through SAORI we realize that everyone has something to teach and learn. That together as a group we grow as weavers and individuals. In SAORI there is no beginner or advanced. We understand that each woven piece has its own important value and cannot be compared to any other, so we encourage each other as a community, rather than cultivating competition. We share and inspire each other freely, and together we learn.

 

Original calligraphy by Misao Jo, outlining the Four Slogans of SAORI