No Comment On The First One But… : 女房と畳は新しい方がよい

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Oct 29, 2011 10:45
When I open the entrance door of my house, I can smell the new “tatami.” My house is still filled with the smell of new tatami. Last weekend, I had a tatami shop to exchange “tatami omote” of my tatami room, or “washitsu”(和室) (photo 1). I haven’t exchanged them since my house (condominium) was built. So, it was for the first time in 14 years!

Nowadays, there are various types of tatami in structure. See photo 2. This is the traditional and simplest type of tatami. According to information on the Internet, “tatami toko” is made of rice straw, which is originally 40cm thick and compressed to 5cm thick. Tatami toko is covered with “tatami omote” (only the upper side) and framed with “tatmi heri” in a longitudinal direction. Tatami omete is woven soft rush and typically re-covered once in five to 10 years.

There is a Japanese ancient saying, “女房と畳は新しい方が良い”; when it comes to wives and tatami, newer is better. Let me avoid making a statement on the first one today, but regarding the second one, tatami, the new one is definitely better of course!

Well, I’m wondering if I take a nap on the new tatami this afternoon.

Photo 1: New tatami in my washitsu in the contrast of morning sun light.
Photo 2: Typical tatami structure