Kumamoto Kensan Igusa Tatami-omote

Kumamoto Kensan Igusa Tatami-omote

Registration Number 9
Name of the GI Kumamoto Kensan Igusa Tatami-omote,KUMAMOTO-IGUSA-TATAMI-OMOTE,
Class Others
Date of Protection 2016/02/02
Producing Area Kumamoto Prefecture
Yatsushiro City, Hikawa-cho, Uki City, and Asagiri-cho
Applicant – Name and Address

JA Yatsushiro area
 2690 Furushiro-machi, Yatsushiro-city, Kumamoto Prefecture, JAPAN

JA Kumamoto Uki
 302-2, Matsubasemachi Kugu, Uki City, Kumamoto Prefecture, JAPAN

JA Kuma area (Japan Agricultural Cooperative)
 2657-4 Ooaza Ichibu, Nishiki-machi, Kuma-gun, Kumamoto Prefecture, JAPAN

Producing Area

 KUMAMOTO-RUSH-MATS is a beautiful high quality tatami processed and woven from KUMAMOTO-RUSH which are made using a traditional "mud dyeing" method.

 Kumamoto Prefecture is regarded as a representative region of Japan for soft rush because soft rush cultivated in Yatsushiro City, Hikawa Town, Uki City and Asagiri Town in Kumamoto Prefecture account for about 90% of the nation's tatami production. The white cottony material inside the soft rush forms a honeycomb structure with high density that has excellent moisture adjusting and harmful substance adsorption properties.

 The process traditionally carried out along with the cultivation history is "mud dyeing", where the soft rush immediately after harvesting are evenly immersed in water in which natural soil is dissolved in moderate concentration. By adhering mud to all parts of the soft rush, good quality soft rush with uniform gloss and color tone are obtained. The woven tatami facing has a beautiful color tone, feels good to the touch, and gives the tatami a particular fragrance.

 The length of the soft rush is the most important factor in the weaving of the tatami facing. The longer the stem grows, the more evenly colored and more beautiful the finished tatami facing can be. As for the climate in the production area, in the winter from January to March, the temperature drops to just before the paddy fields freeze, and the temperature rises back in summertime. Also, the contrast between the long sunshine hours in May and short sunshine hours in June helps soft rush stems grow longer. Before weaving, KUMAMOTO-RUSH-MATS is graded in 4 lengths: 97 cm or more, 110 cm or more, 120 cm or more, and 140 cm or more, and each length is woven separately, so tatami facing with beautiful color tone and even texture can be produced.

 The history of soft rush cultivation in the Yatsushiro area goes back a long way. It is reported that it began when a local lord had soft rush cultivated in his territory, Koga and Fuchimae, in the 1500s, and encouraged it under special protection. Until the Meiji Restoration, cultivation was limited to several villages, but it was gradually established as a local industry, spreading out to the Uki/Kuma areas around Yatsushiro, and by 1970, it had become the biggest production area in Japan.

Back to

Delivering the Charm of Japan’s Traditional Specialty Products