Muslim Tatami Prayer Mats for Muslims Interweaves Japanese Culture and Islam; Set to Be Used at 2025 Osaka-Kansai Expo

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A Muslim man seated on a tatami prayer mat in Osaka City.

A prayer mat made of tatami developed for Muslims is being used at prayer rooms in Osaka City. The product is anticipated to interweave Japanese and Islamic culture when it will be used in the prayer room to be set up at the 2025 Osaka-Kansai Expo venue.

The mats are made by Kambe Co., a trading company in Kyoto City specializing in tatamis. The company spent four years developing the mat under the supervision of a group of Islamic experts based in the city with the aim of spreading tatami culture to the world.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Tatami prayer mats

While cloth is a common material for prayer rugs, Kambe’s mats use washi paper treated with water-repellent coating. The 5-milimeter-thin mat measures 115 centimeters in length, 60 centimeters in width, and incorporates the auspicious checkered ichimatsu pattern.

The Japan Da’wah Centre, an Islamic cultural exchange facility located in Osaka City, which uses these mats, said, “We hope it can be an opportunity for exchange between Japanese people and Muslims.”