In Japanese culture there are many studies showing that futon (traditional frameless mattresses) are better than normal mattresses. Given these statistics, one would wonder why Japanese futons were not more popular in the west. There are many reasons for this but with modernization and gentrification the class structure typically gravitates towards products that at first glance appear to be better and there are studies (Japanese lifestyle) to prove it. Comparing organic tomatoes vs Monsanto tomatoes, we all immediately know which we would prefer, but of course, one is cheaper and with propaganda (clever marketing) they are made to appear to be better.
Traditional Japanese homes don’t have a lot of furniture and their people don’t sleep in a typical bed as we do. It’s part of their age-old traditions.
The use of futons has been around in Japanese culture ever since. Our Japanese futons are packed with soft materials such as cotton, or wool and artificial batting which make them comfy for sleeping even if they are normally spread out just on the floor. Sleeping on them is as soft and cozy as sleeping on a mattress placed atop regular bed frames. Most Japanese specialty stores sell futons in packages that come with its padded futon mattress and quilted blanket. Read More...
The Japanese are known for many things, top of the list being a healthy diet and minimalist lifestyle. One of the most common aspects of the minimalist lifestyle is embedded in sleeping habits. It is common to hear stories of how Japanese sleep on the floor, a concept that is hard for the rest of the world to take in.
Sleep, and everything surrounding it, is on its own level in Japan. Did you know that it is completely normal to sleep anywhere at any time in public in Japan? In fact, the bigger part of the Japanese working population believes that quick naps in between work hours are necessary for productivity. As such, you can find people asleep at work, in commuter trains, on tables in restaurants, and of course, at home. Despite these sleeping habits, studies show that Japan’s workers have the least amount of sleep compared to other regions of the world, thanks to long working hours and long commutes.
The correct answer to this question will depend on where you are. For many people outside of Japan, futon refers to multifunctional furniture, more specifically, a sofa that turns into a bed when the need arises. This sofa-bed is mostly used in rooms that are not very spacious. Read More...
Japanese are known for their minimalism and love for nature. It is common to find natural elements incorporated into their day to day activities. One such activity is sleeping. Yes, authentic Japanese sleeping experience involves a futon (a thin mattress made of pure, organic cotton), laid on a tatami mat (made of straw, and is about an inch thick) on a tatami (straw/reed) floor.
Traditionally, these thin mattresses were made by futon masters, whose expertise in the field came from generations of knowledge being passed down to them. As such, these trade secrets are still highly regarded and protected to this day and age. Traditional futons are handmade, comfortable and pricey, but worth every penny.
The Japanese sleeping culture has been termed as relaxing and is mainly done on the floor – no raised platform beds. If you want to experience true Japanese sleeping culture, you can try out Japanese Ryokan and learn about Japanese life. The traditional futons used are fluffy and thin (about 10 cm thick), rectangular in shape and filled with cotton. They are so different from the western version of futons which mainly refer to a sofa that can be converted to a bed. Read More...
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