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Igusa ZEN Mat Hemmed with Beautiful Tatami Beri

May 22, 2018

Our Igusa ZEN mats instantly create a classic and relaxing feeling even in modern living spaces.  The touch of Igusa is comfortable to the skin and somewhat nostalgic reminding us of childhood memories.

The beautiful, intricate textile attached to the tatami edge is called a tatami hem.  According to the historical literature, the history of tatami hems is as old as tatami mats.  In the Todaiji Kenmotu Cho (a list of dedicated articles to the Todaiji Temple), “black brocaded” tatami hems were listed as part of dedicated items.  This indicates a variety of tatami hems existed in the Nara Period (710s), which can be seen on the royal floor mat for Emperor Shomu (730s), one of collections at the Shosoin Treasure House in Nara. 

 

The usage of the tatami hems were regulated depending on the social ranking of the residents back then.  Here is an example.

Ungen beri:  The most exclusive design used for the Emperor and seating areas in front of the altars of temples and shrines.

 

 

In the Kyoto Imperial Palace, known as a historical Shinden-zukuri architecture, tatami hems with the “Ungen beri” design were used.  The “Ungen beri” textile originated from “Ungen nishiki”, which was brought from the Korean Peninsula the same as Buddhism.  “Ungen Nishiki” is a rainbow-colored striped design that uses chrysanthemums and clouds (as seen in the edges of tatami mats under the imperial dolls of the Hina dolls).

 

Nowadays, there are a variety of designs available ranging from traditional to contemporary.  

 

Momono Trading has a partnership with the tatami hem manufacturer, Marusei Orimono.  We want you to enjoy choosing your favorite design and color of our collections.

 

Custom made Igusa ZEN mats are now available in our online store.

 

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