About Tatami DecomonoThe quality of the tatami is important, but so is projecting individuality.
I want to take people out of ordinary, interchangeable Japanese-style rooms and show them unique Japanese-style rooms full of individual flavor.
To bring Japanese tatami back into people’s everyday lives, we’re working to produce bags, accessories, and other products you’ve never seen before.
|Artifact Name||Tatami crafting : Tatami mats|
Tatami are a beloved part of Japanese daily life, first created by the wise and ancient Yamato clan.
The word “tatami” comes from a word meaning to fold, to layer, or to lay out.
Tatami in their current form were first seen during the Heian period (8th-12th centuries), where they were placed here and there in noble residences as symbols of their power.
Differences in station were communicated through the tatami’s size, thickness, and the colored pattern around the border.
As the start of the Edo period (early 17th century) neared, they were being adopted for home tea arbors, and by the late Edo period (early 19th century), merchants began lining their floors with them.
This led to the rise of tatami-making as a profession.
Starting in the late 19th century, tatami became a fixture of Japanese home life, and they remain that way today. This 1300 year history has rooted tatami deeply as a fixture of the Japanese household.
The Traditional Craftsman Profile
Born in 1983 in Chiba Prefecture
After graduating from high school, he worked for 11 years making materials for tatami.
He wanted to learn how to make tatami, so he apprenticed to Japan’s leading tatami artisan, Hisatomi Osada, and became a professional tatami artisan himself.
After going independent, he began making unique tatami and crafts by combining his personal worldview with the classic tatami-making techniques.
To interview Representative Director Yoshiaki Iijima with English subtitles
Manufacturing Method(1) Measurements are decided
(If measurements are even slightly off, it will affect the finished product.)
(2) The base is cut
(Once measurements are decided, the base is cut to match the board)
(3) The board is sewn on
(After sewing, the string is drawn tight and affixed so the board won’t come loose. The measurements are re-checked, and adjusted as needed.)
(4) The surface is laid out
(After laying out, the surface is cut to fit the measurements.)
(5) Excess is cut off and the border is created
(A unique term, “hirasashi,” is used to refer to this process.)
(The tatami border is sewn to the edge. At this time, straw is sewn to the bottom of the tatami at this time to fine-tune its thickness.)
(7) Sewing the kamachi
(The kamachi refers to the non-bordered part of the tatami. The tatami is flipped over to do this work.)
(If the measurements are still correct, the mats are wiped with a dry cloth and finished.)
Rush grassSoft rushes have moisture absorption properties. They act like a sponge, soaking up moisture on humid days and releasing it on dry days to perfectly maintain a room’s atmosphere.
Even in regions with high humidity, they always stay smooth and non-sticky.
The smell of the rushes comes from an element called phytoncide, the same calming element produced by trees in forests.
*Tatami are typically made of soft rushes, but this creates problems with importing to some countries.
So tatami using reinforced washi (Japanese paper) or manufactured vinyl grass are growing in popularity.