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Travelers’ Treasures / Kumamoto Yatsushiro IGUSA TATAMI, IGUSA ROLL

Tatami mats are the traditional flooring material of Japan. The city of Yatsushiro in Kumamoto Prefecture is well-known as a source of igusa reeds, the raw material used for tatami mats. As igusa reeds also find uses in Oriental herbal medicine, tatami mats made from this material are also popular among health-conscious consumers and those who are prone to allergies. High-grade tatami matting is a material with a dignified character of its own, fading gracefully to a light-brown shade as it is used over the years. The Igusa Roll is a new product which makes efficient use of the igusa reeds that are too short to be used in regular tatami mats. Created entirely from igusa reeds, this roll provides not only cushioning effects but also excellent aeration properties; laid out over a bed in the heat of summer, it provides a cool and comfortable layer to lie on. The igusa reeds are left in their natural undyed state, taking advantage of the special characteristics of the plant. No adhesives are used when binding the igusa reeds into a mat, so as to give full play to their relaxing natural fragrance, making this mat a welcome addition to an office space or a child’s bedroom.

Price: ¥32,400 to ¥81,000

(Price differs by size and type)

Manufacturer: Shikkaiya United Co. in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

(http://www.shikkaiya-u.jp/tatami.html)

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