Sashiko is a traditional form of Japanese hand sewing that uses running stitches to create repeating over-all patterns. It is a technique that is easy to learn and produces beautiful results.
Like all needlecrafts, having the right tools will make sashiko stitching easier and more enjoyable.
Sashiko needles are long, rigid, and very sharp. They are designed to let you "load" multiple stitches on the needle before pulling it through the fabric.