Kunisaki Seven Keeps Tradition Alive for its 7 Farmers

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Kunisaki Peninsula’s Usa region was designated as one of Japan’s Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) for their regional production of shittoui in 2014 — a material that for hundreds of years has been used for high quality tatami mats dating back to Japan’s Edo period (18th c).

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Shittoui is time consuming to produce for the simple fact that each blade of grass must be planted and harvested by hand – without the use of any machines.

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When the grass is harvested, the reeds are gathered and bundled for the next stage of production.  A cross section of the reed viewed from above reveals a unique triangular shape.  Typically, grass reeds have a circular shape.  Shittoui’s unique triangular shape creates another unique challenge for farmers as it cannot be fed through a machine weaver.  Each reed must be hand woven strand by strand.  In the last few decades, a majority of Japan’s tatami mats have been produced with synthetic fiber and by machines. However shittoui tatami mats are 100% hand grown, 100% hand woven, and completely natural.

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The number of farmers that still produce shittoui today are just 7.  Hence the name of its modern line ‘Kunisaki Seven’.  To give you an idea of the intense labor behind each piece, we learned that each of the seven farms can only weave up to 2 tatami mats per day.

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Each piece is unique and comes with a handwritten tag with the weaver’s name.  Truly, a “farm to store” product!

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If  interested in seeing our line of Kunisaki Seven pieces for the home, please visit us Monday through Saturday, 10 – 6 or Sunday 12 – 6, or call us with any questions: 310-314-8448.

Prices:

Coaster $32

Trivet $62

Placemat $46

Bottle Holder $80