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The Diary of Anne Ku
3 June 2000 Saturday warm, sunny but cloudy in the morning
FUTONS AND TATAMI MATS
I'm pretty sure "futon" is a Japanese word. Today I'm expecting a delivery of the best 5-layer futon ("best" according the bedding shop around the corner). I hope to sleep more soundly than currently - and have sweet dreams of my wonderful childhood in Okinawa, Japan.
Unlike the word "futon", tatami mats are relatively unknown in this country. You see these straw mats only in Japanese or Korean restaurants. I had wanted to have a tatami room so that I can perpetuate the family tradition. This would be a room that can accommodate as many people as possible. When vacant of guests, it could be used for storage or meditation. In the summer, the straw matting is cool. In the winter, I would lay out futons.
Having searched all over for tatami mats and finding none, I gave up having a tatami room. My Italian builder, who has good taste, introduced fresh pine board flooring to my loft. So now I look forward to putting my new futon on the pine floor and pretend that I'm actually in my tatami room in Japan.
A futon is a kind of mattress that looks like a tofu.
A tofu is a soya bean based food that feels like jello.
A tatami mat is woven from straw. It is used as a measure of room size, e.g. fits 4 tatami mats.