The Making of Chashitsu, dogu and tatami

Today was a big day. Both the tatamiand the dogu from Zuiun arrived. The tatami looks and feels perfect, and has the unmistakable smell of new tatami. When placing them out I noticed that I have some small irregularities in the dimension of the room. Fortunately I have made it too big and not to small. Nothing that a small piece of wood will not hide. The tatami is super heavy. Each full mat is 37kg. It was nice to see that the measurement for both the regular ro placement and the gyakugatte placement was done correctly. I was a bit nervous about that.

The dogu from Zuiun finally arrived. For r2some reason the second box used 13 days from Osaka to Oslo while the first only 3 days. They were sent the same day as part of the same shipment  go figure. Then the second box got stuc a few extra days in the Norwegian custom because of a missing shipping manifest. I sent them the Japanese order confirmation and a copy of my bank statement, but that was not good enough. The needed to have the manifest translated too. Delaying the custom clearance a few extra days. I do not understand this, I have had many many shippments of dogu and never had trouble with customs. When I finally got the package today it was clearly marked as “Tea Ceremony Utensils” and had a value stated in Yen. Anyway, now I got the dogu and I’m really happy about that.  I had done a few mistakes when I orderes. Since I can not read the catalouge, but is just looking at the images I have apparently ordered chabako chawans instead of regular sized 😛
It was a very nice feeling to enjoy koicha using brand new tatami, chawan and chaire. Now the room is all but complete. I just need to finish up some minor details and get hold of the blue and white paper that is suppose to go on the bottom part of the wall. Not to mention figuring out what to do about that door that is super hard to open and close.

Tatami for my Tea-room

designFor 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.

I’m very exited!