by Kenny Ong in New Products on Wednesday 4 June 2014

The demand for tatami mats has gone down by one third in the last 20 years and many artisans are worried the trade will soon be lost as more and more of them find themselves rapidly aging with no successors in sight to continue the business. A company has tried their hardest to avert this situation by making tatami mats hip, using LED lighting to illuminate this traditional Japanese flooring.

Called Hikari Tatami (literally translated as lit-up straw flooring), there are three colour variations to choose from: white, brown and purple. Cool and warm light display options are also available. Made from the traditionally used Japanese Rush Grass, a single square mat with one LED bulb will set you back about 148,000 yen (US$1,519).

As they are more durable compared to the traditional tatami mats, they can be used in a variety of settings, from outdoor Noh theatre performances to cherry blossom appreciation gatherings. It’s surely an ingenious way to combine tradition and technology in true Japanese style.