Located in the southwestern part of Fukuoka Prefecture, Oki-machi lies almost in the center of the Chikugo Plain, the breadbasket of Kyushu. With a mild, warm climate and heavy rainfall, the entire rural town is mostly flat, with creeks that cover about 14% of the area. The history of the creeks dates back to Nara period (circa 8th century), making it one of the best-known creek areas in Japan.
The agricultural area is centered on the cultivation of rice and igusa, Japanese rush. Rush mats called hanagoza are a well-known product of the area.
The town is actively working on solutions to environmental problems. As an example, the town announced a declaration promising to produce and dispose of less waste in the future. Also, in response to the increasing severity of recent weather-related disasters, the town has taken a step toward realizing a low-carbon society and has worked together with communities and local governments around the world to promote initiatives for the future.
Weaving 130 Years of Experience into the Finest Tatami
Since 1886, when Hikotaro Ikegami established a tatami store, Ikehiko has grown its business for over 130 years. Expanding into other directions throughout that time, the business has been seeking a bright future for igusa culture.
Ikehiko began growing its very own igusa in 2012. As the production of igusa is decreasing in Japan, the company is now committed to developing top-notch products using its own cultivated igusa to carry on the culture of igusa and tatami, which has been handed down since the ancient times of Japan.
Ikehiko seeks to revitalize local industries and contribute to the improvement of people's lifestyles and culture through the production of highly sophisticated interior decorative products that match the Japanese living environment.
Crafted from Field to Floor
Igusa cultivated in-house is made into products in its raw and unprocessed state as it is harvested. As a result, it has a natural texture with a smooth and soft feel to the touch.
The tatami mats of their original tatami brand, Hikotaro, are made from the finest Japanese rush by craftsmen at each step of the production process. For this brand, less than 1% of the raw material harvest is carefully selected and precisely woven to achieve the utmost quality. Furthermore, they use two to three times as much igusa as conventional products and weave it into four or six layers, which results in incomparable durability and comfort. The more you use the tatami, the better it gets. It is this essence of Ikehiko's sophisticated tatami mats that makes it so sought after.
Ikehiko's products are not limited to traditional tatami. Their passion for tatami products made from igusa is beyond compare, which led them to further broaden their possibilities. Ikehiko has introduced D.STYLE, a brand of interior lifestyle based on denim combined with various natural materials. The brand was born from the fusion of Ikehiko's advanced technology and creativity and industry leader KAIHARA DENIM’s quality and technology.
Nurturing the World with Artisans’ Love and Passion for Igusa
Ikehiko's hope stands on passing down igusa culture to the next generation and sharing its traditions with the world. With the passion of their igusa farmers, dyeing artisans, weavers, and all the professionals involved, tatami mats are diligently crafted by hand from their home-grown rush one by one.
Tatami has been and always will be a place where people gather, attracted by its comfort and the warm ambiance it creates. Feel the artisans' love and tatami's warmth that connect you and your loved ones in everyday life.