Farewell Misao Jo sensei
Misao Jo – Saori Founder (1913-2018)
“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.”
Sadly Misao Jo, the founder of Saori has passed away peacefully in Osaka at 104 years of age. Saori no Mori have a tribute to her on their site. Her presence will be sorely missed within the world’s Saori communities and beyond. The philosophical concept of Saori was promoted by her work and the way she saw ‘gems’ in everyone and used the skill of handweaving to convey that in a tangible way. Saori is a very personable and open invitation to weaving and art. Everyone is invited. Unlike some previous other visionaries in this area, which felt more exclusive.
I am honored to have met Misao Jo on several occasions in Japan, and am certainly very thankful that I am able to teach and explore the Saori vision within Australia. I will never forget the first time I encountered Saori many years ago through Mihoko’s work at Saori Worcester. It seemed like some cogs in my brain were freed from their rusted on tightness. Suddenly I was allowed to be more the artist I wanted to be at my loom. A loom is an underrated art and creative tool. Unlike paint it need a structured mind to set it up but then we CAN do what we like, and how we want to.
Thank you Misao Jo sensei. I’m sure the Jo families and Saori communities left behind will continue your encouragement to weave, create, connect and flower.
You may notice that Misao Jo posed for a photo with many, many visitors to Saori no Mori over the years, I was just one. Even in November last year she had her photo taken with our tour group in the studio. This shows just how generous, loving and proud the family are of her as I’m sure most of us in Australia would be encouraged to hide frail people away as too frail to join in. She really lived her life, with the support of her family, in a normal, everyday, partaking way until the end. While spreading her freeing way of enjoying weaving and woven cloth.