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Zabuton Japanese Floor Cushions:  Adding a Touch of Zen, Minimalistic Style, and Functionality to Any Room 


 
  
Interior design is constantly evolving, with new trends appearing, vintage styles reemerging, and designers paying homage to cultural influences. Japanese interior design, which takes on a clean, minimalistic, unpretentious character, is gaining traction around the world. 
  
Because real estate prices in Japan are comparatively high in relation to home costs in the west, space is at a premium and the size of homes is limited. Unlike the spacious interiors in the US,  rooms in Japanese homes are much smaller, and must sometimes serve dual purposes, with eating, sleeping, and living spaces combined.  
  
To establish spaces that project clarity and zen,  clutter is kept to a minimum, and home furnishings are less substantial, adaptable, and portable. Instead of bulky mattresses and box springs, the Japanese opt for futons,  and when it comes to seating,  heavy chairs are replaced with floor cushions, known as zabutons.
   
   
Made with 100% pure Japanese cotton, JCOS Zabutons are used as seating for dining, as pillows for relaxing, and as padding for meditation. At bedtime, they can be easily stacked and stored, making room for the futon to be unrolled at bedtime. 
  
Minimalistic, multifunctional, and understated, and made with 100% pure Japanese cotton, JCOS zabuton can be used as seating for dining, as pillows for relaxing, and as padding for meditation. At bedtime, they can be easily stacked and stored, making room for the futon bed.
  
Because textiles are one of the greatest treasures of Japanese handicrafts, JCOS zabutons, made from organic fabrics, with simplistic lines, and bold colors create a minimalistic,  dynamic, and spontaneous style that is unparalleled in western design. 
  
Like the Japanese art of Kintsugi,  which uses gold to repair broken objects, a new trend known as Japandi, taking influence from Scandinavian and Japanese style, draws on the Japanese wabi-sabi principle of finding beauty in the imperfect, comfort in the asymmetrical, and pleasure in the incomplete.
   
   

   

What is a Zabuton?

Zabutons are rectangular cushions, like miniature futons, that make sitting or kneeling on the floor for long periods of time far more comfortable. For thousands of years,  zabutons have held a special place within Japanese culture.
  
Once enjoyed only by people of wealth or Buddhist monks, zabutons are now an essential part of everyday life in Japan. Almost always rectangular in shape with a gently rounded top, the center of the cushions bears the weight, helping with posture. JCOS Zabuton, like most traditional Japanese cushions,  are finished at the corners with tassels. 
    

The Meaning of Zabuton 

Zabuton is written in Japanese using the characters for sit (座 za) and futon (布団), a  thick floor mattress. Essentially, a zabuton is a futon reserved for sitting.
      

History of Zabuton 

Closely linked to the tatami mat which once indicated a person’s wealth and authority, zabuton started as small square rugs placed on the tatami to provide additional padding and beauty.   
   
During the Edo period, Japanese tailors began to fill zabuton with cotton padding for added comfort.  Today’s high-quality zabuton is a luxurious, comfortable, and beautifully made floor cushion manufactured with a unique process that gives them ergonomic structure, providing firmness, support, and stability.  
    

Significance of Mizuhiki Knots

“Musubi-kiri” (Musubi- knot)
A knot that is very difficult to loosen once it has been tightly tied, Musubi-Kiri signifies a wish for longevity.  
“Awaji-musubi” (Awaji knot)
As the strings are pulled tighter from both ends, the knot gets tighter, signifying close friendship, mature love, and lasting relationships that cannot be pulled apart or undone. Embodying relationships set in stone, the harder the outside world tries to pull you apart, the tighter your bond becomes. 
“Cho-musubi” (Bowknot)
A knot that can be undone and re-tied over and over again, this knot represents new relationships, marriage, or birth of a child.  
   
  

    

Sitting on a Zabuton  

There are two traditional ways to sit on a zabuton. The most common way to sit on a zabuton is seiza style; kneeling with legs tucked underneath the body with the tops of the feet resting on the floor. One can also sit in the lotus position, with legs crossed.   
   

Zabuton Uses

  • Dining: Create an inviting space for gathering around the table for a meal or afternoon tea when paired with low coffee tables or around a heated kotatsu table.
  • Meditation: Cushioning and support reduce pressure on the legs and knees, allowing one to sit comfortably.
  • Seat Padding: Transforms any chair into a cozy and ergonomic seat.
  • Yoga: Flat bottom and rounded top align and elongate the spine.
  • Sleeping: Supports joints.
  • Pregnancy: When used as a pillow to provide leg elevation, blood flow to the lower extremities is improved, alleviating swelling, and preventing blood clots and pain.
  • Playpen alternative: When used as an alternative to a playpen, a zabuton provides a safe and comfortable space for infants to explore and play. 

*To prevent suffocation, do not place a baby and a zabuton in a crib together. 
  
 
  
  

Significance of Tassels  

Originally included to prevent harmful energy from disturbing one’s state of mindfulness, JCOS zabuton cushions have tassels on each corner.  
  
Whether you’re looking for a unique way to add elevated, minimalistic style to your home, seeking an authentic Japanese meditation or yoga tool, or searching for the perfect gift, JCOS zabuton are available in a  range of colors that remain true to the traditions of hundreds of years of zabuton craftsmanship.
  
Picking your perfect zabuton or putting together a collection has never been easier with the diverse range of products lovingly made by  JCOS.com.
  
In the spirit of this ancient Japanese form, we present our collection of Mizuhiki-inspired jewelry and accessories. The perfect gift to symbolize closeness, commitment, and trust, Mizuhiki knots embody the ties that bind.
   
The perfect holiday gift, give your friends and family the comfort and unparalleled beauty of a JCOS zabuton.
Looking for more ways to incorporate Japanese design into your interior design? Check out our blog post, Eastern Spirit Lifting: Japanese Decor Transforming a House to a Home.
Check out our blog post, Furoshiki the Japanese Art of Gentle and Beautiful Sustainable Gift Wrapping for ways you can incorporate Japanese vibes into the gift-giving season.