Various fortuitous and misfortuitous laying patterns of tatami

A Word from the Teacher

Tatami History and How to Lay It
by Satou Ryouko

Mats that became the antecedent of modern tatami were born in the Nara period. Goza like mats were piled 5 or 6 layers and trimed with a brocade border were used as a bed by those of high status.
In the Heian period, tatami was placed where needed in the itanoma rooms of Shinden style palaces. It served as a place to sit or a place to sleep, and the thickness and border of the mats depended upon the status of the person using it.
In the Kamakura period, since rooms began to be completely covered with tatami, their usage changed from being sitting or sleeping furniture to being floor covering. However, since tatami was a high class item, only a portion of aristocrats could maintain a tatami covered floor lifestyle. According to literature of that period, the design of the border depended on the status of the person sitting on it. The tennou used a gradiated border, imperial princes and ministers used large crested Korean border, court nobility used a small crested Korean border, preists and those of the 4th and 5th rank used a purple border, and 6th rank and clerical preists of shrines and temples used a yellow border.
From the Adzuchi-Momoyama period, tatami spread and began to be used in townhouses as chanoyu developed. After the mid Edo period, it spread to the common people and the then the lastly the farmers.
The way tatami is laid is also established. Auspicious events and memorial services were seperated and the way the tatami was laid changed depending on the event. But as furniture increases, it became difficult to simply move the mats, so once they were laid there was position was fixed without moving. Also, since the size of the room was established beforehand, if the size of the tatami was not established, moving them was impossible. In the normal style of laying (fortuitous style) the tatami are laid so the corners do not meet. For memorial services (misfortuitous style), the tatami are aligned exactly opposite of this with the corners meeting. The corners of tatami meeting to make a cross (a 十 character) was a bad omen.

先生からひとこと
畳の歴史と敷き方
奈良時代には現在の畳の前身となる敷物が誕生しますが、ゴザのようなものを五~六枚重ねて錦の縁を付けた形のもので、身分の高い方のベッドとして使用されていたようです。
平安時代になると寝殿造りという板の間の部屋の中で必要な部分に畳が置かれました。これは座具であったり寝具であったりしました、使う人の身分により、畳の厚さや縁についての規定がありました。
鎌倉時代になり、部屋の中に畳が敷き詰められるようになると、畳の用途は座具や寝具から床材へと移行していきます。しかし、畳は高級なものえ、畳を敷き詰めた生活ができるのは一部の貴族のみであったあようです。当時の文献によると、座る人の階級により畳縁の文様を規定しており、天皇は繧繝縁、親王や大臣は大紋の高麗縁、公卿は小紋の高麗縁、僧侶や四位・五位の人は紫縁、六位や寺社の役僧は黄縁と定められていました。
安土桃山時代から茶の湯が発展するとさらに畳が普及して町家にも畳が使われ始めますが、一般庶民にも普及するのは江戸時代中期以降で、農村ではさらに遅れていたようです。
畳の敷き方にも決まりがあります。慶事と仏事に分けられ、畳は行事ごとに敷き替えられていたものですが、家具などの調度品が増えて簡単に移動しにくくなると、一度敷いたら敷き替えをせず固定化してしまいました。また、部屋の広さが先に決定した後に畳を敷く施工では、畳の大きさが一定ではない場合が出てきますので、敷き替えも不可能となってきました。一般的な敷き方(祝儀敷き)は、畳の角が交わらないように敷きます。仏事(不祝儀敷き)はその反対に二枚以上の畳を並べて平行に敷きます。畳の角が交わって四辻(十字)になると縁起が悪いとされたのです。

Advertisements