Thursday, March 13, 2014

Introducing MACARON, ancient Tatami, revived for modern times

MACARON, popular French pastry, is displayed in various selections!  Well, unfortunately these are not sweets.  It is a new Tatami-style cushion, MACARON, named after its looks.  It is colourful and absolutely stunning, but in fact, its form has a long history.  

It is said that Tatami has been around for more than 1400 years.  Originally, Tatami did not cover all the floor as it does now, but was more like a small zabuton cushion for the seat.  It was a luxury item for the nobles; the cushion was treasured when sitting on hard wooden floors as everyone did then as there were no chairs until quite recently.
Tatami evolved as a form over time.  By the 8th century, it had evolved into the form that we know nowadays, and with the development of Japanese architecture, it gradually became widely available.  Since then, Tatami rooms have become a fixed part of Japanese traditional culture that has not changed for thousands of years.

MACARON was developed to revive Tatami's original use.  It preserves the ancient cultural of use of Tatami, providing it in a form that suits diverse Modern lifestyles.  It fits in any type of house, providing an accent to the room on the floor or on the chair, in a big room or small space.  Which colour do you want to pick up for your room?  How do you want to coordinate them?  Watch out - they will be available on the site soon!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Takaokaya: Ojami and Gorone-roll Portable Futon, made with heart and soul

Kyoto, the ancient capital, with more than 1,200 years of history,was the seat of the imperial household. Artists and artisans all over Japan honed their art and craft in hopes of
being able to move to Kyoto and vie to serve the aristocracy and ultimately, the emperor. Refined craftsmanship is deeply ingrained in both the DNA of Kyoto and Takaokaya, a maker of Ojami and Gorone-roll Portable Futon.

Takaokaya is a producer of handmade zabuton cushions and futon bedding in Kyoto.  Their history started in 1919 as a futon manufacturing company.  Since then, by making futon and zabuton which are essential for the Japanese life, Takaokaya has been strived for creating comfortable home life for the people.

In front of their old building in Kyoto in early 20th century.
Their artisans have the equivalent of several centuries of experience handcrafting relaxing zabuton and futons.  Each item is literally made by hand.  Even today, the only machine you will find in their workshop is a sewing machine!

Koichiro Takaoka, Takaokaya’s third generation owner, says “People in Japan, are re-evaluating their lifestyles and what matters most to them. While mass production has brought benefits, something is missing. That is heart and soul. If we use products with heart and soul, then our lives will be made much, much richer and more meaningful!”

Try their Ojami cushion and Gorone-roll Portable Futon, and you will experience that his word is true!