One of the vintage fabric pieces I bought in Tokyo was a small roll of silk. When I unrolled it, it turned out to be the sleeve of a kimono lined with soft silk with a pink edge. I wanted to use it immediately but realised the sleeve was still stitched together. I remembered being told that kimonos were stored flat in pieces. They were stitched together in such a way that the stitches were easy to undo to store and to launder the pieces. I examined the piece thoroughly before I started with the seam ripper. What a treasure trove. There were tiny running stitches, ladder stitch, larger running stitches all beautifully even. Someone had very carefully stitched this sleeve together. I wondered who she was. Maybe a servant of the rich person who owned this beautiful silk kimono. I wondered if she had enough to eat, what her name was. I knew that she was the last person to touch the silk thread. The photo shows some of the stitching she did on the lining and some of the gorgeous kimono fabric. I thought that despite our cultural differences, I could empathise with this woman who, many years ago, placed these stitches. I pay my respects to her now, unpicking the seams by hand.