SAORI is a contemporary hand weaving program founded by a Japanese lady, Misao Jo about 40 years ago, in which everyone can express oneself freely regardless of age, gender, disability or intellectual aptitude. In SAORI, people can enjoy hand weaving as an art form not only as a hand craft. In the past 40 years, SAORI has been introduced all over Japan, and there are more than 40,000 SAORI weavers in Japan only. SAORI has also been introduced overseas, in more than 40 countries. SAORI is now practiced across Japan, other countries in Asia, Middle East, North America, Central America, South America, Europe, Australia and Africa at nearly one thousand institutions including special education schools, sheltered workshops, high schools, adult education centers, and rehabilitation centers for people with disabilities. Misao Jo has been commended by Japanese government twice for her public contribution made through SAORI hand weaving program. In 1990, she was honored by Minister of Health and Welfare of Japan, and in 1992 again by Prime Minister of Japan.
The “SA” of SAORI has the same meaning as the first syllable of the word “SAI” which is found in Zen vocabulary. It means everything has its own individual dignity. And the “ORI” means weaving.
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