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A Stack of Omi Jofu Zabutons

Written on March 31, 2010

I love antique Japanese zabuton, which are traditional cushions that are still very much in daily use in Japan.  Here is a stack of fine, old ones that are made from the marvelously good Omi jofu, a kind of super fine hemp and ramie kasuri (ikat) from Shiga Prefecture.

Zabuton1aAren’t they beautiful?  The warm tone of the indigo and the very good kasuri is just wonderful–as is the old, cotton batting which fills out the cushions.  These old zabuton are thin with batting and they don’t provide a lot of  “cushion.”  Newer, commercial zabuton are quite thick and bouncy, but in old Japan, when cotton was expensive, the padding was minimal, as can be seen in these examples shown here.Zabuton1

Zabuton1bNote the contrasting, red cotton threads used to “quilt” the cushions.  Notice, as well, the lush pattern created mainly of folding fans and plum blossoms, both tradtional Japanese design motives.Zabuton1cI estimate that these cushions date to the 1920s or 1930s; for having been used and for having such age they are still in very good condition and are still amazingly attractive–and they are still very much able to be used in the home.  Zabuton1dThere are 11 of them and each measures 11″ x 21″/ 28 cm x 53.5 cm.

Just gorgeous.

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4 Comments

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  1. Comment by dee:

    Agree that they are gorgeous — I love the red thread!

    April 1, 2010 @ 2:21 pm

  2. Comment by india Flint:

    beautiful indeed

    April 1, 2010 @ 6:40 pm

  3. Comment by Amy:

    Wow! I love the ikat designs!

    April 6, 2010 @ 4:27 pm

  4. Comment by Masami:

    Hello, my brother works at a craft center that makes omi jofu. It is very nice to see omi jofu is intrduced in your website.

    Please visit the site for some pictuers from my last visit to the craft center!
    http://webryalbum.biglobe.ne.jp/myalbum/20062940006fe73f1d6f1929c42ffab118c63f430/96659013493375721

    Masami

    June 5, 2010 @ 6:14 am

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