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LED tatami floors take us to tea ceremony of the future

13 Comments
By Oona McGee

Japan is known for its dichotomy of unique tradition and state-of-the-art technology, so tatami mat floors that light up during a traditional tea ceremony should really come as no surprise. Although the photo at left might look like an illusion or a Photoshopped image, it’s actually a real tea ceremony room in Yokohama. The eerie yet peaceful glow is thanks to a company that uses LED lighting to illuminate traditional Japanese flooring. And the results are absolutely stunning.

Called Hikari Tatami (literally light-up straw flooring), there are three color variations to choose from: brown, white and purple. The white design even allows for cool and warm light display options.

The LED bulb layout can also be selected for personalised interior designs. The floors are then set up through a wall outlet switch by a qualified electrician.

Each mat is hand crafted in Kumamoto Prefecture, Kyushu, using local Japanese Rush Grass, which gives you the traditional fragrance of straw mat floors. When the mat is turned off it looks like regular tatami, only this type comes with a one-year warranty and is said to be stronger and more resilient.

While a single square mat with one LED bulb will set you back about 148,000 yen, restaurant owners are attracted to the durability and surprising energy efficiency of the unique flooring.

The LED tatami can be used anywhere, but the most dramatic effects are seen in low-light areas. Hopefully we’ll be seeing more of these innovative mats in a variety of settings, from outdoor Noh theatre performances to autumn foliage light-up events. It’s a fantastic way to combine tradition and technology in true Japanese style.

Sources: Itai News, Murakami Industries

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13 Comments
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This won't catch on. Lighting from below is rather annoying and troublesome. And how many volts do you get when you spill the tea on the tatami?

Next time, try LED cherry blossom designs on the ceiling.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

It'll be a hit in love hotels.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

it's a bit creepy

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

I dont know, I think its pretty cool. Also im sure the led will be waterproof or insulated.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Looks cool.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I think it's catchy!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Very cool. That's a lovely light. My tatami needs replacing but the price is a bit steep.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That looks really cool... very effective.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Those produce a lovely texture and atmosphere. The blue in the photo must be white on the cool setting.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

One square tatami measures 88 x 88 cm. So go figure the cost of one regular tatami, which measures approx. 90 x 180 cm. Although cost prohibitive for the average home owner, I like the idea. But some overhead lighting is necessary, I think.

This website shows some other uses of the floor LED lighting: http://www.murakami-t.co.jp/profile.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yet again, Japan seemlessly combines the traditional and futuristic.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Instant landfill.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Cue: John Travolta!

HA HA HA HA Stayin' Alive! Stayin' Alive!
-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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