Who Is Tanabe Orimono?
Tanabe Orimono is a company that has dedicated itself to the manufacture of zabuton floor cushion since its foundation in 1946. Thanks to this dedication, Tanabe Orimono has developed a high level of weaving technique over the years and the company continues to bring to the market innovative zabuton floor cushion products that cater to the needs and tastes of modern Japanese people.
The company is located in Fujiyoshida city in Yamanashi. As the name of the city suggests, the city is located very close to Mount Fuji, and it has traditionally been well known for fabric production. For example, back in the Meiji period (1868-1912) and Taisho period (1912-1926), a special kind of silk called “Kaiki” was very popular. “Kaiki” was both beautiful and luxurious, and although the techniques of producing “Kaiki” permeated across Japan, thanks largely to the clean water coming from Mount Fuji, the quality of “Kaiki” produced Yamanashi in particular far surpassed that of “Kaiki” produced in other regions.
Tanabe Orimono's efforts to continuously bring innovative zabuton floor cushions to the market have also been featured in the local newspaper. More specifically, Yamanashi's local newspaper published an article which talked about the company collaborating with the students at Tokyo Zokei University Graduate School in order to create zabuton floor cushion designs that are based on the Japanese animal zodiac. (These zabuton floor cushions can be purchased on Ninjaya.com.)
About Zabuton Floor Cushion
Japanese people have great appreciation for zabuton floor cushions, because these inconspicuous cushions are actually very useful in many ways and can be a great addition to the Japanese home décor. More specifically, zabuton floor cushions can be used in many contexts, whether it be when you want to relax or when you want to be formal.
You might think that zabuton floor cushions existed in every household since long time ago in Japan, but actually the production of zabuton floor cushions happened only after World War 2! The history of zabuton floor cushions is intertwined with tatami, the traditional Japanese flooring whose top surface is made of woven straw. In ancient Japan, tatami reflected one’s authority or power within society and was used as bedding or in a rug-like fashion. As time moved on, a square rug was put on the tatami, which made it closer to the zabuton floor cushion as we know today. By the mid Edo period (1603-1868) people started putting cotton inside the cushion. Cotton was a better option compared to hemp or floss silk; because cotton is elastic, it provides a very comfortable feeling to the person who is sitting on the cushion.