For years I have been trying to find a way to get tatami for a Tea-room. Ordering them from Japan is fantastically expensive. The tatami available in my home town are all made for western beds so they have inconvenient sizes like 60×200 og 90×200. Which obviously makes it impossible to make any tatami patterns.
Browsing on the local equivalent of e-bay for some photo gear I did a check for chado or tatami. I might be in luck and find a Japanese imegrant selling some thing, but no. However I found a new store selling tatami for beds. I asked them for custom sizes, and YES!! they could do that. So now I have ordered tatami for a yojohan and tiny mizuya.
The tatami should arrive in May, so now I’m busy trying to clear out my tea space in preparation for building a elevated floor. The image shows the intended floor plan. Unfortunately there is no way I can separate the guest entrance from that of the host. The mizu-ya will be just one and half tatami, with another half mat in front of the entrance.
When we bought our house one room in second floor was designated as Tea room. For a while I used it as a Tea room and had great plans for improving on the facilities. However, that plan never came to fruition.
This winter my newly bought secondhand aquarium sprung leak and 843 liter of sea water flowed out over our living room. The result of this disaster was that we could not use our living-room for several months. To have a space to watch TV and sit in a couch the room designated as Tea room became the new living room. The problem was that when the living-room was fixed the couch and the TV stayed in the Tea room, and gradually the Tea room became just another messy place.
Our house was build in 1959 and the insulation in the loft floor was from that time too. Even worse the loft had no proper floor board to walk on. I decided that I would remove all the old insulation and put in new. When I had done this I added new and proper floorboard. Voila, and I had an abundance of storage space on my loft. In the basement I had a storage room full of stuff junk. I moved much of this to the loft and the rest to the garage.
Finally I could start moving my Tea-stuff from the messy room on secondfloor down to the basement. After several hours of moving boxes and such I have what looks like a Tea room. In the future I hope to be able to lift the tatami of the floor so that I can have a sunken ro, and also proper fusuma. I made an estimation that it would cost approximately 12.000 USD to import tatami and fusuma for a four and half mat room with a few mats for a mizuya elsewhere. At the moment there is no way that I can afford that, unless I dip into the wedding budget, which would result in a pre-wedding divorce.
Tomorrow I will unpack some of the dogu and hopefully enjoy the first cup of Tea in nine months. It has been way to long since I last did temae.