Feb 4, 2015

Hello again :)

I started English miniature blog again. :) But, today is not about miniature. Let me introduce about tatami mat.

I think tatami mat is very important and necessary to Japanese people's life. Because tatami room is very comfortable  and can relax to body and spirit. We take a nap and lay down on the tatami and read books. :)

This is my tatami room. Tatami mat generally has to reface about every five or six years. But almost Japanese houses not do it, I guess. Because the cost is expensive and can living no problem do not reface. So, tatami of my room hadn't refaced about 15 years. It has very damage. I decided to have a tatami refaced. Tatami quality has various. If chose very high quality tatami, the cost will be very expensive. So,  I chose tatami not high class, it's enough to my house.

(before reface)

This border of a tatami is common design and color in Japanese house. I guess almost Japanese houses has green.

I visited tatami maker to ask reface. The workshop is small, there is an old craftsman. He is an owner of this workshop. Maybe he is about octogenarian. I thought he may come to my house with other craftsman, but the day of reface, he came alone. I thought "How does he move heavy wardrobe, I wonder?" But he moved it easily. He used special tools to move furniture with his wisdom. He came to my house at 8:30 am and he took tatami mats to his workshop to reface and he back to my house bring tatami mats refaced in the evening.

(the state of no tatami)

While he reface the tatami mats in his workshop, I cleaned a room of no tatami. 

He back to my house at 5:30 pm bring tatami mats refaced. How beautiful! I'm very exiting! The smell of rush is full in the room. The real color is green. It's different from photo.

(after)


I could choose some design and color from the sample of the border of tatami. I chose orange. Old craftsman said me "It's unique. I did it first in my craftsman history." I didn't want choose green. Because I  wanted change my mood.

This is professional work.

When he go back his shop, I said him "I will ask you have a tatami refaced again after a few yeas." He answered me "It will be impossible, because I may retire soon.  hahaha." He told me he decide to  retire every year, because he doesn't has strength. But he think about after retired, "What should I do after retired? I don't need free time." The craftsman of tatami is his job and also his hobby.
I said him "Sir, your move is brisk and your work is very beautiful. I think you can still working. Please continue your job. I hope it." He said me "I don't have idea. hahaha"

The demand of the craftsmen of tatami decrease in Japan, because Japanese room also decrease, increase to the room of only flooring. And young generation don't be craftsmen of tatami. It also has other reason to decrease, I guess. Anyway, it still need veteran craftsmen.

Today, I wrote about a part of Japanese life. :)

Thanks for reading.




8 comments:

Plushpussycat said...

Nice post. When I lived in Taiwan, I had a tatami room for meditation. It was very peaceful, as you said. When I visited Okinawa, Japan I stayed in a traditional tatami hotel. It was so nice and comfortable. Thank you for sharing this interesting post about Japanese culture. xo Jennifer

Ilona said...

What a very interesting post! I absolutely interested in reading about these tatami mats, because after years I'm still busy with a Japanese tea house. And you have also add wonderful and clear pictures of the tatami to this post :D! Unfortunately I don't know much about Japan, so all I can learn is from the internet and now......this wonderful post about the tatami: THANK YOU :D!!
For me you may write more often about Japanese traditions and common things.
Kind regards, Ilona

jewel snake said...

I love to read about your Japanese life! I heard that tatami are very expensive, so if I will destroy one I will have a lot to pay for it.
Orange border is very original and beautiful. During my stay in Osaka I have seen any tatami, obviously there was one at my apartament too, with red or green borders if I remember good.
I hope for more posts from you!

tomohachi said...

Jennifer

Hi! Jennifer. I’m glad you knew tatami is comfortable. :)) I have never been to Okinawa. But I have an image that you had wonderful time there. :)
Thanks.

tomohachi said...

llona

Thank you for your comment. :) Yes, I will often write about some Japanese things. :) There are millions of traditions and unique things and culture in Japan. It’s worth introducing. :)

tomohachi said...

jewel snake

Yes, I agree with you. When tatami was destroyed by some accident, the cost will very high. For example, if it happened the accident of inundation above floor level, it will has to buy new tatami.
Recently, there are a lot of modern design borders, I saw those in the internet. But most old tatami makers in the town doesn’t has those. I guess they seems don’t like those, because are not traditional color and design.
Thanks.

Elizabeth S said...

I am very interested in what you have just written about. Tatami mats are something that I have heard about but I really had no idea of their longevity or their traditional usage or that they were a dying art.
Thank you for sharing this and I Love the orange border that you chose! :)

elizabeth

tomohachi said...

elizabeth

Thank you for getting interested about tatami. :) I'm very happy. :))