Archives for the day Sunday, December 19th, 2010

Japanese style “Futon”

 In the previous entry titled “Houses in Japan; Fusuma Sliding Doors “,I wrote that Fusuma Sliding Door is a sliding
door between the room, and it is made of wooden frame and Japanese
paper is pasted and then, Fusuma paper is placed on top.

 I also wrote that Fusuma
paper usually has beautiful drawings of nature such as mountain, and these doors can also be seen at “Oshiire”, where many Japanese people
put away their Futon.

 When I visit some of my friends in the states, I remember being asked whether I feel more comfortable sleeping on Futon. So, I replied “Yes.”, but then the Futon my friend’s family was talking about was way different than what I was expected to see.

 It was a couch in the living room, and it transformed to bed and they called it “Futon”. It was one of the culture shock moments in the states. You may wonder what I was expecting to see when I heard the word “Futon”.

What is “Futon” in Japan?

 Futon is the name of the traditional Japanese bedding.

 In Japan, “Futon” set is folded and stored in the Oshiire, and every night, you will make a bed directly on tatami mat or wooden floor. Often times, if you live in the room with wooden floor, you would place a mattress underneath the “Futon” for extra cushion.

 These mattress are air out in the balcony, and it usually has cover for you to wash frequently.

 On top of the mattress , you will put “Futon” and, it is much pliable,softer, and thinner than American “Futon” from “Futon” couch, and often times, traditional bottom part of “Futon” are stuffed with cotton. This bottom part of “Futon” is called “Shiki buton”. It has sheet cover also and,you can take it away and wash frequently.

 The reason behind why Japanese style “Futon” being softer,pliable,and thinner is that we, Japanese people, air “Futon” on balcony by hanging them under the sun, and it is easier for us to maneuver and since we put away “Futon” every morning into Oshiire room, “Futon” being thin and softer has great benefit.

 Top part of “Futon” bed is also soft,comforter and comes with cover and you can wash the cover frequently and air the top part of “Futon” in balcony. This top part of “Futon” is called “Kake buton”, and when hot summer comes, we use light weight cover instead of “Kake buton”. Traditional Japanese pillow is called “Makura” in Japanese, and it is filled with red beans or buckwheat chaff.

  At our house back in Japan, me and mother put out “Futon” to air in the balcony in the morning and put away around afternoon.

 Japan is quite humid and we air “Futon” set in the balcony and we beat the futon mat with tool called “Futon Tataki” before bringing the “Futon” set back into the room. We do this to get rid of dust,allergen in the “Futon” mat.

 I came across youtube video on “Futon”, and you can see what the traditional Japanese style “Futon” would look like.

 Traditional Japanese style “Futon”

 If you are a blog subscriber or reading from
facebook, please click here to watch the video.

 When you visit Japan and stay at hotels, you will usually have choices you can make whether you would stay in western style room,which is with western style bed, or whether you would stay in traditional Japanese style room where you can make bed yourself on tatami mat.

 If you visit Japanese style Inn, rooms are most likely with traditional tatami rooms only and you would sleep on “Futon”, not western style bed.


Dec 19, 2010 | Comments are off | Uncategorized