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The Secrets of Kyoto Zabuton

Do you know anything about the zabuton?
Zabuton are traditional Japanese cushions with nearly 1000 years of history. Originally, zabuton indicated high status, and were only used by people such as the emperor and members of the imperial court, or most revered of Buddhist monks. Now, zabuton are part of daily life and are central to Japanese omotenashi culture of hospitality. 

“Omotenashi”: The Spirit of Kyoto hospitarity
Three Characteristics of Kyoto Zabuton

Three-pronged stitch

The stitches show which way
the zabuton should face.
The tail of the “Y” points to the front.


asseled Corners

The cotton stuffing is fastened
with tassels which are thought
to protect from evils.


Dome shape

The bottom of a zabuton is flat,
the top gently rounded.
Since the center of the zabuton
bears weight, it is raised for
greater stability and comfort.